Food Bank on the Edge’s executive director Cris Martin, front, says holiday activities are ramping up, but due to the pandemic, they are only allowing current volunteers and their partners to work on the hampers. (Nora O’Malley photo)

West Coast holiday giving guide for those in need

Registration is open for Ucluelet and Tofino Christmas Hampers, RE/MAX Angel Tree and more…

The Elf on the shelf might be in quarantine this year, but Christmas spirit on the Coast will be bursting through the roof.

Ucluelet Christmas Hampers

Registration for Christmas Hampers is open. For Ucluelet and Ucluelet First Nation folks wanting to sign-up, please call the Food Bank on the Edge (250-726-6909) or the Westcoast Community Resource Society (250-726-2343). Ucluelet’s Christmas Hampers will be distributed on Dec. 21. The Food Bank on the Edge Society’s executive director Cris Martin said they are budgeting for 100 hampers this year.

“If you have a friend maybe they are having a rough time or whatever, if you think they need a nice Christmas dinner and breakfast, you could sign them up for a Christmas Hamper. It’s anybody in need. You do not have to be a client of the Food Bank,” said Martin.

Tofino Christmas Hampers

The Sisters of Saint Francis Assisi are co-ordinating the Christmas Hamper program for Tofino and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation residents. Anyone interested in making a monetary donation is encouraged to call Sister Anita (250-725-3224), drop off at the Tofino Co-op administration or mail a cheque to Saint Francis of Assisi, Box 180.

Sister Anita said they are giving mostly grocery vouchers this year because they don’t want to handle too much food. She said they are planning to distribute the Hampers around the second week of December, and to call her to get on the list.

“It’s for those in need. We are more than willing to help in any way we can,” said Sister Anita.

Ucluelet Co-op Reverse Advent Calendar

Reverse Advent Calendar began on Saturday, Nov. 14 and ends on Dec. 5. Each day there is a different item for shoppers to buy for the Food Bank.

“It just gives ideas of stuff we don’t normally buy. It’s a nice time for people to give things that are appropriate for the season,” said Martin, adding that even though there is a different item each day, they are not encouraging folks to shop every day.

“If you are at the Co-op shopping for your family, perhaps check out the list of items and pick up a few things to put in the donation bin. Some folks actually buy one of each item on the list and then donate them all at once and that is fine too. We appreciate any and all donations,” she said.

Food Bank on the Edge is also set-up for email to receive e-transfers. Anyone wanting to make a donation during the holidays, is encouraged to email:

Angel Tree

With the help of Judy Gray and her staff at RE/MAX, children of registered families will get presents for Christmas. When a family registers for a Christmas Hamper, the childrens’ age and gender are noted and they get a place on the Angel Tree at RE/MAX.

Community members who want to sponsor an “angel” can then pick a slip and buy appropriate gifts that will be added to their family hamper. Call the RE/MAX office at 250-726-2228 for more information.

Stuff the Cruiser

Food Bank on the Edge is hosting the annual Stuff the Cruiser event in conjunction with the RCMP and the Ucluelet Co-op on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

“We will have “shopping lists” with items for folks to purchase and then bring out to the RCMP cruiser,” notes Martin.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to get much needed non-food items for our clients. Gift cards are always a good option for giving, enabling us to purchase things we need along the way,” she said.

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