Christmas hamper program could end without new committee

The future is uncertain for a long running program that provides more than 125 people the food needed for a Christmas dinner.

 

The future is uncertain for a long running program that provides more than 125 people the food needed for a Christmas dinner.

The current board of the South Similkameen Christmas Hamper Committee is stepping down, a letter to the editor received by the Review from the committee stated.

“It is now time to pass on the torch,” the letter read.

Joan Popovich, one of the first members of the committee said it’s time new blood takes over the important program.

“It’s been almost 15 years. It’s time to give up the reins,” she said in an interview Tuesday with the Review. “I still remember that first year. It’s been wonderful giving back to the community in this way but it’s time someone else took over.”

Her reason for stepping down at this time is that she wants to spend a relaxed Christmas season with family without all the extra work.

“It is quite busy. I would like to have a Christmas and spend time with family,” she said.

The board is hoping someone or a group of volunteers will step forward sometime over the summer so they have time to organize the hamper program starting in the fall.

The South Similkameen Christmas Hamper Committee was started about 14 years ago when a need was recognized.

Many families and individuals go without a Christmas meal each year because they can’t afford it.

“When it started out it was actually churches doing it and it got away from that over time,” she said.

About 125 individuals and families receive a hamper each year through the program.

That number has remained fairly steady since the program started.

“What most people don’t realize is that it isn’t just young families. It’s a lot of seniors that are on fixed incomes that just can’t afford that extra,” she said.

A hamper includes everything needed for a special Christmas meal.

Over the years methods of distributing food has differed. Some years vouchers and a small hamper were handed out while other years it was just hampers made up of donated food.

This past year vouchers only were given out so people could pick what they wanted for their special meal.

Currently the committee works with just three board members – president, secretary, and treasurer. Several other volunteers attend meetings on a casual basis.

The committee usually starts meeting in October and meetings become more regular as Christmas approaches.

Popovich said the season can get quite hectic getting closer to the big day but that most of the elements of running the hamper program run fairly smoothly after all these years.

Anyone interested in helping organize the program for the 2015 holiday season is encouraged to contact Popovich or Ruby Cavenaille.

Just Posted

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Three charities receive generous donation from 100 Men Who Care

The organization meets four times a year to contribute funding to local initiatives

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Prost, raise your glass for Penticton Oktoberfest

The Penticton Lakeside Resort is the new venue for the annual event

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Most Read