Food bank prepares for hamper season

The Sidney Lions Food Bank is preparing for its busiest time of year

Sidney Lions Food Bank Administrator Bev Elder opens the food bank for the day. The organization will be busy putting together food hampers this month.

The Sidney Lions Food Bank is preparing for its busiest time of year and is looking for donations to help make clients’ holiday season a little brighter.

“Christmas hampers are really important to our clients because it can be a really tough time of year financially for a lot of people,” said Bev Elder, the food bank’s administrator, who added that the not-for-profit sees more people using the food bank over Christmas than they usually do.

“We normally serve about 320 households on the Saanich Peninsula but around Christmas time we serve over 450,” she said.

The Sidney Lions Food Bank makes up their own hampers and includes in them things that help make the holiday season a little brighter for their clients.

“We try and include things they wouldn’t normally get like chocolate, personal care items and a grocery store gift card to buy a turkey and veggies or whatever else they need for Christmas dinner,” Elder said.

Elder said the challenge each year is competing with other, larger charities who exclusively seek donations around Christmas.

“It can be hard because people like to spread around their donations and I think a lot of people see the seasonal charities and think to donate to them but might forget about charities like the food bank who operate year round,” said Elder, noting that after Christmas the need for food items for clients as well as school breakfast programs is still there.

“Everything we do here is local. If you donate you know it’s going to be used by a local family or school no matter what time of year,” she said.

Monetary donations can be made at the food bank (9586 Fifth St.) or online through www.sidneyfoodbank.com. Donations of food can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Christmas hampers will be assembled at the end of November and handed out mid-December.