by Andrew Fleming
It’s not easy when you struggle to make ends meet during the holiday season.
It’s even tougher when you can’t manage the stairs in order to sign up to receive the assistance you need.
Organizers of the annual Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program want to make it easier for seniors with or without financial difficulties and are trying something new this year by offering a free meal next Thursday (Nov. 17) where seniors can sign up for the program or simply hang out and socialize.
“Every year we have a high number of seniors that need hampers and I have noticed over the past few years that it’s hard for them to come up the office stairs to register. Once they come, there’s often a group of them that stay to visit in the reception area,” said program coordinator Taya Vantol.
“This will give them an opportunity to have a warm lunch, and we will help those who want to register for hampers do it that day. All seniors are welcome, whether they need a hamper or not.”
The lunch begins at noon at the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (5337 180 St.).
Representatives of the Seniors Come Share Society will also be in attendance to talk about their Better at Home program and other resources available to seniors through their agency.
Seniors requesting a hamper are asked to bring government-issued photo identification, Medical Services Plan card and proof of address such as a recent bank statement.
Recipiants must live between the Fraser River and 0 Avenue and between 196 and 164 Streets.
The Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program is a community effort to serve the less fortunate families of Cloverdale with hampers including non-perishable food, sundries and gifts in order to make the Christmas season a happy time for those who might otherwise be unable to enjoy this time of year.
General applications will be accepted until Dec. 5.
Donations from the public are always welcome. Suggested items include non-perishable food items (canned goods, rice, pasta, etc.), gift cards, toiletries and personal care items, and warm clothing such as socks, gloves and toques.
Financial donations over $5 will receive a charitable donation receipt in February 2017 for the 2016 tax year. For more information on how to donate, visit http://www.cloverdalechristmashamper.ca