In this file photo from 2019, Tammy Burrows of the Wild Women of the North Society organizes the donations before the group of volunteers begins assembling Christmas hampers Dec. 22 at the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre. The society is collecting food hamper items again this winter, along with winter clothing and warm gear. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

In this file photo from 2019, Tammy Burrows of the Wild Women of the North Society organizes the donations before the group of volunteers begins assembling Christmas hampers Dec. 22 at the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre. The society is collecting food hamper items again this winter, along with winter clothing and warm gear. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

There are many ways to help fill Christmas hampers in and around Quesnel

Many businesses, volunteers and the RCMP are collecting hamper items over the next few weeks

‘Tis the season for giving, and groups, associations and stores in the community are making sure there are many ways to give to those who are in need this holiday season.

The Wild Women of the North Society is accepting donations to fill food hampers and keep people warm this winter.

The society is collecting non-perishable food, toilet paper, dish soap, new toys in their packages and candy for hampers, as well as jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats, socks, pocket warmers and other cold weather gear.

Donations can be dropped off at 602 Fir St. in the Red Bluff/South Hills area seven days a week between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. (text 1-250-983-9759 for information), or in West Quesnel on Lewis Drive — text or call 1-250-925-1555 to arrange drop off.

For more information, to arrange larger donations, or if you know someone who could use a hamper during the next few months, call Willow at 1-250-925-1060 or email wildwomenofthenorth@gmail.com.

***

The Quesnel Downtown Association (QDA) has begun collecting hamper items for the Salvation Army Food Bank.

While all donations are greatly appreciated, the QDA has a list of the most sought-after items, as well as some of the items that are in short supply. This includes deodorants, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, canned meats (chicken and ham are the most popular) and coffee (instant is simplest, but any coffee is appreciated).

Look for one of the blue wrapped donation boxes in downtown stores.

***

This year, the West Quesnel Business Association’s Holiday Food Drive is supporting youth in our community.

Up until Dec. 12, volunteer Coral Byrd is collecting non-perishable food items to create hampers for youth who have transitioned into independent living, teen moms and teens who are living on their own.

To arrange a COVID-19-safe drop-off, contact Coral at 250-255-9947 or coralbyrd3@hotmail.com.

***

In West Quesnel, Long Table Grocery is working to “squash hunger” in the community over the next few weeks.

For every pound of squash sold at Long Table over the next few weeks, the store will be donating a pound of fresh produce to its community partners for distribution to local families in need of groceries. The store works directly with the Quesnel Child and Youth Support Society and the Quesnel Pregnancy Outreach Program.

“Stock up on one of nature’s most nutritious and nourishing crops and nourish your community at the same time, plus you are supporting local farmers going into their leanest season by participating in this project with us,” Long Table Grocery writes in a Facebook post. “We’ve got bumper crops of local spaghetti, acorn, red kuri, Lakota, butternut, sugar pumpkin and buttercup squash for you to choose from, and they are all keepers so you can stock up.”

During this time, Long Table Grocery will also be collecting donations of cash, gift cards and shelf-stable groceries towards its Pay-it-Forward Grocery Box Program, which supports families in need with weekly groceries all year round.

***

The Bouchie Lake Country Store has already filled a big red crate to overflowing with donations for the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn hampers.

All donations remain in the Bouchie Lake-Milburn Lake community to support those less fortunate or those who spend Christmas alone.

Canned goods, dried goods, toys, books and games are all greatly appreciated and will be passed on to the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Hamper Committee. The store is also accepting financial donations for the hampers, which will be used to purchase staples, such as flour, rice and eggs and items from local producers.

***

The Quesnel RCMP is hoping to fill a police car with non-perishable food, unopened toys, winter clothing and hygiene products during its Stuff a Cruiser campaign Dec. 5 and 6 at the West Park Mall.

“Many citizens of Quesnel have suffered a financial impact during the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn is effecting them during the holiday season,” said Const. Matt McGregor of the Quesnel RCMP, who is heading up the campaign. “By showing our love and compassion, we can donate food, clothing and toys to those that need them over Christmas and the hard times that lie ahead.”

The items collected will be donated to Quesnel Salvation Army’s Food Bank, the Senior’s Voice Society and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Quesnel.

The donation area will have COVID-19 precautions in place, including a drive-thru option. Donations will also be accepted at the Quesnel RCMP detachment during regular working hours.

READ MORE: Quesnel RCMP hoping to ‘stuff a cruiser’



editor@quesnelobserver.com

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