Cloverdale Christmas food drive in overdrive

The Cloverdale Christmas Hamper campaign has one month to go before pick-up day.

The student leadership team at George Greenaway Elementary

An annual food drive that saw more than 230 Cloverdale families through the Christmas season last year is once again looking for donations of food, cash and volunteer support.

The Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program, a non-denominational food aid program that runs on the combined efforts of the entire community, is accepting applications from needy families.

It’s also ready to accept donations of food, cash and new gifts for children and youths.

By the end of last week, more than 200 donation boxes had been distributed to businesses, schools and churches throughout the Cloverdale area, ready for this year’s appeal, says Kevin Lunder, who acts as program lead along with his wife, Trish.

Hamper pick-up day is early this year – Saturday, Dec. 14, so Lunder is urging supporters to have their donations in no later than Dec. 9. It will take volunteers the rest of that week to sort donations and assemble hampers in time.

The hampers are filled with a week’s worth of fresh and non-perishable food.

It takes an army of volunteers to man the assembly line in the warehouse of Pacific Community Church. Shifts will be running daily from 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Dec. 8 to 13.

Volunteers range from Cubs, Scouts, and Guides to youth hockey teams, Kwantlen Polytechnic University students and families.

About 75 to 100 volunteers turned out daily to help last year.

“There were a lot of families last year, wanting to get involved. I’m sure we will see those people back again, because it was fun.”

A network of diverse community partners are also involved with other aspects of the campaign, including the Surrey Association For Community Living’s Clover Valley day program.

Donations are key. Food items, gifts, and cash are all urgently needed.

“Last year, we were just a little concerned with the financial donations coming in,” Lunder said. A last minute infusion of support helped put the program in the black.

Both local PriceSmarts and Marketplace IGA–Cloverdale are on board. He said businesswoman Jen Temple has joined the team to help with donations and advertising.

Lunder asks that people making food donations check to ensure the items have not outlasted their best before date.

“We’ve had boxes and boxes of food that had expired,” he says.

One of the biggest sources of support are local schools. The two local secondary schools – Clayton Heights and Lord Tweedsmuir – have entered into a friendly rivalry to see which school can collect the most donations.

“They’re our two largest supporters,” Lunder says.

And 20 donation boxes overflowing with non-perishable food items have already been collected from George Greenaway Elementary in Cloverdale, according to principal Elsie Bertholm.

The initiative was headed up by the school’s Me to We student leadership team, which went around door-to-door collecting donations on Halloween.  Students in all grades also brought in their own donations from home, resulting in a massive collection.

“We had almost 2,000 items,” Bertholm said.

It’s easier than ever to make a cash donation to the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program. This year, it can be done online through Paypal at the new website, at http://www.pacificcommunity.ca/ministries/cloverdale-hamper-program.

This year’s application deadline is Dec. 5. Application forms may be downloaded from the website.

Donations of cash, food, merchandise and gifts are accepted (new toys only, please). Cash donations receive a tax deductible receipt. Make cheques payable to Pacific Community Church.

Suggested donations include: non perishable food items such as canned vegetables and fruit, soup, crackers, snacks, canned meat or fish, condiments, pasta, and rice, grocery and food gift cards, toiletries and personal care items, new gloves, socks and scarves, new, unwrapped children’s toys and gifts for ages newborn to 12 years, and store gift cards for youths aged 13-17.

For further information on donating or volunteering, call 604-574-4001 ext. 107 or email cloverdalechristmashampers@gmail.com. The mailing address is 5337 180 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3F 4K5.

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook.

Just Posted

Surrey man who dropped brick of cocaine in front of cops loses court appeal

Amanpreet Singh Gill, 33, was sentenced to two years less a day

‘What we’re seeing is a different kind of overdose happening’ in Lower Mainland

Fraser Health says benzodiazepine doesn’t respond to naloxone as it is not an opioid

FOCUS: Federal election campaign heating up in Surrey

Lazy days of summer interrupted by knocks on residents’ doors by incumbents, would-be MPs in pursuit of votes

VIDEO: White Rock’s Totem Park renaming motion to be reconsidered

1999 commemorative ceremony video shows ‘historic’ apology from RCMP to First Nations

South Surrey girl aims to make waves for ocean change, one ripple at a time

‘I know I can make a difference,’ says Shelby Hack

VIDEO: Bloodhounds join the search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Petsearchers Canada arrive in town Monday afternoon to help out

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

B.C. Ferries cancels two sailings Monday due to mechanical issues

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run affected in order to repair Queen of New Westminster

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Most Read