The Salvation Army has established a new signup location for hampers at “Christmas Central” in downtown Chilliwack.
Applications for the 2019 Christmas Hampers program are being filled out inside the old Chilliwack Progress building on Spadina Avenue for the next month.
The demand for hampers is expected to be higher than last year, at a time when food bank inventory is near an all-time low.
“We are expecting about 1,500 applications for a Christmas hamper this year,” said Don Armstrong, manager of the Salvation Army Food Bank.
In 2018, they processed about 1,300 hamper applications.
So the central challenge being faced by Sally Ann is that donations are so low in Chilliwack right now they have resorted to purchasing supplies, to have enough stock on the shelves to feed the hungry, and prepare holiday hampers.
“We are in desperate need of food donations,” Armstrong underlined.
Stock is so critically low this week that he estimates that by Friday food bank shelves could be completely empty.
Donations of food and toys are being graciously accepted at the Salvation Army Care & Share Centre at 45746 Yale Road.
Teenagehood is a notoriously tough demographic to buy for, so some teen gift ideas include: gift cards for iTunes or Cottonwood Mall, pajamas, hoodies, makeup kits, cosmetics, toques and gloves.
The annual Kettle Campaign starts on Nov. 23, and Sally Ann officials are seeking volunteers for the kettles. At this point they have about one-quarter of the volunteers needed to staff the various kettle collection locations.
Applications for hampers will be accepted at “Christmas Central” from now until Dec. 14, at 45860 Spadina Avenue, from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Anyone wishing to receive a Christmas hamper is asked to apply in person with all the necessary documents proving income, residency, with picture ID and Care Cards for every member of the household. Individuals or caregivers can also submit suggestions for potential hamper recipients in need.
For more information, call 604-792-0001.