In November the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank announced that they would not be running their traditional Christmas hamper program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the Food Bank will be relying on cash donations in order to give everyone who applies a grocery voucher for local stores to purchase their own Christmas food.
Heather Smith of the Food Bank says so far, Kimberley residents have listened and the response has been overwhelming.
“No angel trees, no gifts, no food,” Smith said. “People heard us and monetary donations have been very good.”
Smith says she thought with the pandemic, and how generous people have been since last spring that Christmas might be tough but that hasn’t proved to be the case.
“Kimberley people are just incredible. I can’t say enough,” she said.
She says she is amazed at how many people are going the extra mile and not just donating cash, but taking the time to go to one of Kimberley’s two grocery stores, Save On Foods and Mark Creek Market, and purchasing gift cards.
“It really blows me away. Just the other day we got $1400 in cards split between the two stores. People have to go to an effort to do that. I’m still in awe.”
Donations are still being gratefully accepted and so are applications to receive the food vouchers.
“We are encouraging people to apply,” Smith said. “You don’t have to be someone who has used the food bank in the past. These are trying times and we want to stress the food bank will accept anyone.”
Call 250-427-5522 to apply.
Vouchers can be picked up at the food bank on Friday, December 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Smith says they will stay open longer on Saturday if needed.
Those picking up vouchers are asked to wear masks, sanitize and bring along a piece of ID.