Neighbour to Neighbour Centre will be busy up to Christmas Eve
It’s not December yet, but the staff at the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre food bank have been in Christmas mode for a number of weeks.
“It’s out busiest time of year,” said centre operations manager Sara Collyer, who noted as of Nov. 23 about 1,100 families and individuals had signed up for their annual Christmas hamper program. “All of our slots will be filled probably by the end of this week.”
The centre is taking registrations for 1,500 Christmas hampers this year, but Collyer noted they will likely end up providing as many as 1,000 more in the final few days before Christmas.
“We’ll deliver hampers right until Christmas Eve,” she said. “We have families coming to us in deep crisis usually on December 24th.”
Under the hamper program, registered clients shop in a supermarket-like setting and choose the food and toys they want.
“They’ll get fresh vegetables, they get a voucher for a grocery store, toys for every child and stocking stuffers for every child and a family gift.”
The food and toys will be distributed at prearranged times between Dec.17 and 20 at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church on Mohawk Road West and on Dec.21 and 22 at Emmanuel United Church on Upper Ottawa.
Collyer said the Athens Street centre is still looking for donations of gifts for boys and girls age 10-12.
“That would be sporting equipment, hair straighteners, books, movie tickets, things that an older child would like and enjoy,” Collyer said.
She added they will also be taking donations of food (including fresh turkeys), toys and money right up until noon on Dec. 24.
The Neighbour to Neighbour food bank serves about 1,300 Mountain and Ancaster households each month.