The pressures of the holiday season can quickly mount, and for people who use Share Family and Community Services' food bank, providing extra for children and other family members for festive meals and gifts can be difficult.
That’s why Share volunteers and staff are preparing for the social service organization's annual Christmas programs.
”There’s a lot to be done and we’re already getting calls from people wishing to help with some of the programs,” said Claire MacLean, Share's executive director.
Indeed, take a tour through the Port Moody warehouse and volunteers are busy sorting food, stacking crates and taking stock of what’s available now for families and what will be needed over the holiday season.
More than 3,450 Tri-Cities residents received assistance from Share’s Christmas programs last holiday season and similar numbers are anticipated this year.
“We expect Tri-City residents to step up and be generous as they always are,” MacLean said.
Cash, non-perishable food and gifts for toddlers, children and teens are already being accepted.
Here are some ways Share helps and how you can help:
• Christmas food hampers will be distributed through Share’s three food bank locations on Dec. 12 and 19.
• To register for food, apply in person with proof of address, such as a rental agreement or utility bill received in the past three months, and current identification for all members of the household. If you are already a food bank recipient, you do not need to register for a Christmas Hamper.
HOLIDAY TOY PROGRAM
Beginning tomorrow (Wednesday), registration is taking place for Share’s toy program, which provides parents of guardians of children 17 years of age and under with the opportunity to choose a gift for each child.
To register for the toy program, provide documentation indicating the household’s income is at or below the low-income standard. To be eligible, registrants much apply in person with current ID and the following:
• proof of address, eg. rental agreement, utility bill, bank statement received in the last three months.
• identification for all members of the household
• income source, e.g.: cheque stub from MEIA, E.I., WCB, work or bank statement for the household
The following locations accept registrations for the toy program:
• Port Moody: Port Moody Pacific Grace MB/Chinese Church, rear downstairs, 2622 St. John’s St. (across the alley from the Share food bank), Wednesdays and Fridays through Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Coquitlam: Hillside Community Church, 1393 Austin Ave., Nov. 14, 21 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Port Coquitlam: Trinity United Church, 2211 Prairie Ave. (corner of Prairie and Shaughnessy), Wednesdays and Fridays Nov. 7 to 28, noon to 2 p.m.