Holiday fun and food is just around the corner!

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Many people have been coming by our program over the last few weeks to inquire about the Christmas hamper program. Some of these patrons are stopping by to drop off the application form that was mailed in their social assistance cheques at the end of October. While others are here to provide us with their information and identification so that we can assist them in completing the application at our location. Either way both of these groups have something in common: their low income leaves them short of food for the holidays.So what is a Christmas hamper program? Well it’s a unique program that is co-run between Salvation Army and House of Friendship. Each year we partner up to divide the task of providing many people with some additional assistance for the holiday season, namely food and, if they have young children, toys.

Salvation Army takes on the job of distributing toys at their Gage Street facility.  It’s a big job, and it’s pretty much all they do for the month of December.

House of Friendship’s job is to look after ordering the necessary amounts of food and collecting the volunteers to pack and deliver food assistance out to all the low income households who submitted an application. For more information, please click here and here to stay up to date on current events.  The Christmas food hamper is meant to be a little bit of help around the holiday season and is separate from our daily food hamper distribution.  You can choose to sponsor a family or volunteer to help out at the warehouse or to deliver them in December.

Christmas Hampers is just beginning though, as we’ve only been accepting applications for the last two weeks. However applications will be accepted at several locations, which are Salvation Army, House of Friendship Community Centers, House of Friendship’s Charles Street Men’s Hostel, Wilmot Family Resource Center, and Woolwich Community Services until December 14. Those receiving social assistance also had the option to mail in their application before November 29th.

Last year 3 620 were packed and delivered to individuals and families in need throughout Kitchener, Waterloo and surrounding township areas. This involves a large amount of food, some of which we buy and some of which we rely on The Food Bank to provide. However, the Food Bank needs your help! Without the many generous donations of food that come throughout the year and holiday drives, they wouldn’t have the supplies to share with programs, such as Christmas hampers, which help people in need of food assistance.

One way you can make an impact on helping those who need food assistance is to consider donating any of the top ten most needed food items, which are:

  1. Peanut Butter
  2. Canned Meat & Fish
  3. Canned Fruit
  4. Macaroni & Cheese
  5. Stew & Chili
  6. Beans in Sauce
  7. Pasta Sauce
  8. Rice
  9. Canned Pasta
  10. Cold Cereal

The first five are categorized in bold as they are in the highest demand right now. It doesn’t mean that the Food Bank is out of these items; but it does mean that the Food Bank may not be able to fill or supply food hamper programs orders, such as ours, with these necessary items to pass on to patrons in need of food assistance.

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