Help needed for Holiday Hamper campaign in Armstrong

Help needed for hampers

Donations are needed for the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Community Cares holiday hamper campaign.

The effort was started in 2020 by a group of citizens concerned about local seniors during the beginning of the pandemic.

Hampers are only available in December and include perishable and non-perishable foods, toiletries, gifts and more. Secret Santa stockings are also distributed to seniors throughout the community.

This year’s focus is again on providing food and toiletries.

“As food prices continue to soar and living expenses rise, more seniors and families are faced with making tough choices between eating (especially healthy foods) and keeping a roof over their heads,” say organizers. “Six of the 2022 food hampers were distributed to people living in their vehicles or tents.”

Anticipating an increased need in 2023, the Community Cares group asked for help from the community and received it from Glad Tidings Church. For the past 20 years, Glad Tidings has run the Brown Bag lunch program for school children and operated the Helping Hands Food Bank until it transferred remaining stock to the Food Corner in 2021.

“We could not have helped as many seniors and families without the support from our amazing community and volunteers,” says organizer Brenda Firth.

The campaign has grown quickly from 42 hampers and 115 Secret Santa stockings in 2020 to 87 hampers and 204 stockings in 2021, and 115 hampers and 383 stockings in 2022.

Last year, the campaign helped 255 local seniors, 66 adults and 62 kids/teens.

The campaign grew beyond the initial Christmas hampers to become the Food Corner at Gather Grounds Thrift Store, where seniors and families have access to non-perishable food items and toiletries six days a week.

Hamper applications are available at the thrift store or be emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries, gift cards and cash can be dropped off at Gathering Grounds. Donations (including e-transfers) can also be made direct to Glad Tidings Church, contact Jeannette Waight for more information (250-306-8790) or [email protected].

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