Ben Molesky, co-chair of Sooke Christmas Bureau, says their team has started stocking hampers for the holiday season. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Ben Molesky, co-chair of Sooke Christmas Bureau, says their team has started stocking hampers for the holiday season. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke Christmas Bureau begins prep for holiday hampers

Organizers estimate spending $30,000 to stock up for those in need

The Sooke Christmas Bureau is encouraging families and individuals who need an extra hand this upcoming holiday season to apply for their Christmas hampers.

The application deadline is Dec. 1.

“A lot of people end up coming in super last minute because they hold out hoping that a miracle happens for them,” said Kim Metzger, president of the Sooke Food Bank, which effectively turns into the Sooke Christmas Bureau in mid-December.

“I rarely hear about those miracles, but there’s really nothing to be embarrassed about here. We hope we can be that ‘something better’ that happens to them.”

The Sooke Food Bank operates on the first, second, and third Thursdays of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In the last week of October, the food bank’s 40 volunteers served 102 families, 79 children and 147 adults in need. Now, 29 weeks into their 35-week schedule, they’ve given out nearly 3,000 hampers this year. And they’re ramping up their production heading into Christmas.

Mike Thomas, a volunteer with the Sooke food bank and co-chair of the Sooke Christmas Bureau, said they will continue with their annual Santa Run, in which fire services of Sooke, East Sooke and Otter Point hit the road to collect non-perishable food donations that are then used to make up the more than 400 food hampers distributed.

The event is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12. They will mostly be asking the public to help by donating cash or electronic donations, as they have to quarantine any food donations for 48 hours.

“We’re here to help no matter how long of a time that someone needs a boost,” said Thomas. “Sometimes it’s only for one or two hampers, and for others, it lasts a little longer. No matter what, we’re here to serve.”

Thomas pointed out how touched he was when someone the organization had been giving hampers for many months came back and donated $200 after he got a full-time job.

“The amount of generosity that I’ve seen since moving here blows me away,” said Ben Molesky, co-chair of the Sooke Christmas Bureau and serving with the food bank for eight years.

“Even if it’s the day after Christmas, we’re not gonna lock down these doors and turn someone away.”

The Christmas Bureau, which starts in mid-December, focuses on preparing holiday dinner hampers, including a turkey or ham, depending on the family’s size and breakfast foods such as pancakes and syrup. There are currently 420 boxes of pancake mix and an equal amount of syrup containers sitting in their storage room.

Thomas said the best way the community can help is through cash or e-donation. The Christmas Bureau will spend more than $30,000 to stock up for the hampers.

The food bank shops local most of the time and only stops by bigger box stores outside of the Sooke region if they need large cereal amounts.

Those interested in donating can go to canadahelps.org/en/charities/sooke-food-bank-society/. Those who want to apply for the hamper program send a message to the group’s Facebook page or call 250-642-7666.

READ MORE: Sooke Food Bank takes steps towards ‘new norm’

ALSO READ: Sooke Christmas Bureau readies for the season


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Food BankSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

During mid-December, the Sooke Food Bank will turn into the Sooke Christmas Bureau, which served over 400 hampers to families and residents in need. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

During mid-December, the Sooke Food Bank will turn into the Sooke Christmas Bureau, which served over 400 hampers to families and residents in need. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

During mid-December, the Sooke Food Bank will turn into the Sooke Christmas Bureau, which served over 400 hampers to families and residents in need. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

During mid-December, the Sooke Food Bank will turn into the Sooke Christmas Bureau, which served over 400 hampers to families and residents in need. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read