The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank’s annual Christmas Food and Toy Hamper Program is underway this week, with dozens of volunteers helping to fill hampers for those in need.
Food Bank Coordinator Heather Smith says that this year they are filling approximately 130 hampers, which is down from the past two years where the numbers were closer to 200.
Hampers include everything a family would need over Christmas such as a turkey dinner, milk, eggs, cheese, crackers, fruit and vegetables. All of the food is purchased by the food bank.
Smith says that the food in every hamper is purchased through local grocers including Centex, Mark Creek Market, Overwaitea, Kimberley City Bakery and Kimberley Sausage and Meats.
The hampers also include gifts for children aged 0 to 18, which are donated through the angel tree program, the Kimberley Peewee house team and the community living group.
The hampers are filled and distributed by ‘screeners’ and ‘fillers’. Screeners are the regular volunteers who run the intake, or inventory, at the Food Bank, while the fillers are the volunteers who fill the hampers at Christmas time. The Kimberley Dynamiters and Mayor Don McCormick also come out to help unload the groceries when the time arises.
“It takes them about two, two and a half hours to sort all of the food and fill the 500 boxes,” said Smith. “They’re fabulous. They do it fast and efficient, and we could not do this without them, those volunteers.”
She adds that she and the rest of the crew at the Food Bank would like to thank the entire community of Kimberley for their support over the holidays and throughout the rest of the year.
“It’s a big job and we really have to give a huge thanks to the entire community,” she said. “We’ve had a ton of donations, from food to clothes, toys and cash.”
If you wish to make a donation or volunteer for the food bank call Smith at 250.427.5522 or drop by their location at the Anglican Church.