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Food hampers being distributed today to hundreds of Chilliwack school children during pandemic

At a weekly cost of $6,000, Chilliwack Salvation Army needs financial aid to help feed the children
Volunteers help put together 340 hampers for school children at the Salvation Army Church on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The hampers include fresh produce, toilet paper, canned good and more. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Volunteers were busy putting together hampers for school children at the Salvation Army Church on Wednesday.

The initiative came this week and was acted upon quickly by a number of community partners to ensure children, who normally rely on food programs like Bowls of Hope Society and the Starfish Backpack program, wouldn’t go hungry.

The 340 hampers were being assembled Wednesday morning and included canned goods, plus fresh carrots from local farmers, a four-litre jug of milk, and a package of toilet paper. They are being delivered to schools throughout the district today where students and their families will pick them up from their respective schools.

They will be handed out every week.

READ MORE: Chilliwack partners unite to make sure kids don’t go hungry during the pandemic

At a cost of about $20 per hamper (totalling $6,000 every week), it’s hitting the Sally Ann hard and Capt. Matt Kean is expecting the need for hampers to continue for many weeks.

“Our finances will be tapped out,” Kean said.

One of their greatest sources of income is the Salvation Army’s thrift store, but it has been closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the sudden need to put together the hampers plus the loss of income from the thrift store, the Chilliwack Salvation Army is putting the call out for immediate financial help.

The weekly food hampers are being prepared by the Chilliwack Salvation Army Food Bank with the support of volunteers and community partners including the Bowls of Hope Society, Starfish Backpack, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, all Chilliwack Rotary Clubs and the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.

Here’s how you can help:

The following food items are needed and can be dropped off at the Salvation Army Share and Care Centre located at 45746 Yale Road, during normal business hours:

• 500 mg peanut butter

• Ravioli, spaghetti and other canned pasta items

• Canned ham, chicken and fish

Program coordination information (to volunteer, receive services or get more information):

Jane Ullyot – – 604-750-0508

To donate:

Shirley Triemstra, fundraising, coordinator – Chilliwack Community Services – – 604-798-7164

Donate online at (designate to Starfish Back Pack Program) or mail/drop off through the mail slot at Chilliwack Community Services, 45938 Wellington Ave.

For more information, contact the Salvation Army Church at 604-792-0311.


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Nikki Rekman and Don Armstrong stand in front of a van full of hampers for students at Bernard elementary on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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