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'Tis the season for Christmas hampers at St. Vincent de Paul Society

St. Vincent de Paul Society is offering families with children under 19 years old residing at home the opportunity to get a Christmas hamper. Because of the pandemic applications are only accepted by phone.
11 St Vinny's Studio Fair donations Nov. 8 2021
Karen Heathman, president of the Prince George and District Community Arts Council, and Joe Creegan, a board member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, show some of the donations to the food bank patrons of Studio Fair brought to CN Centre earlier this month.

St. Vincent de Paul Society is offering families with children under 19 years old residing at home the opportunity to get a Christmas hamper.

Because of the pandemic, applications are only accepted by phone.

Call the number on the dates listed below:

Thursday Nov. 26 and Dec. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. call 250-640-9189.

Friday, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 call 9:20 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. call 250-640-9183.

Care cards for all family members are required at the time of the phone application. All applications will be cross referenced with other agencies to ensure that as many families as possible will be assisted.

All hampers will be delivered following Covid-19 protocols on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

The other part of the equation for Christmas hamper success is for community members to donate to this very worthy cause. Non-perishable food items and Christmas gifts, along with monetary donations are most welcome.

“We are always looking for toys and that’s a big one for the children,” Bernie Goold of the St. Vincent De Paul Society said. “It doesn’t have to be something huge just something we can include that brightens a child’s Christmas.”

As for suggestions, just get something that you would buy your own children or grandchildren - nothing big, just a puzzle, toy or game to bring a smile. And that goes for the teens and parents in the family in need as well. Some nice soaps perhaps for the mom, Goold suggested.

And food is always a big need, too.

“Contrary to some people’s beliefs the donations that come in at Christmas don’t get all used up at Christmas but coasts us into the new year,” Goold said. “Right after Christmas in January and February we do a lot of hampers because like everyone else people have overspent or over indulged a little extra at Christmas and so January and February are big months for hampers and food and what we get at Christmas gets us through those lean times.”

St. Vincent de Paul Society is looking for non perishables that a person would put in their own cart at the grocery store, Goold said.

Don’t forget the pasta sauce to go with the dry pasta to make the dish complete. Canned fruits, vegetables, soups and canned fish, litre-size tetra packs of juice are all good examples of what goes over well, Goold said.

“When we give out a hamper it’s about a week to 10 days worth of groceries,” Goold explained. “Monetary donations are also a great help and we appreciate the community’s continued support.”