As the deadline draws closer for the distribution of Christmas hampers, the Salvation Army in Salmon Arm is concerned that it has not received enough applications yet and people will be going without. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

As the deadline draws closer for the distribution of Christmas hampers, the Salvation Army in Salmon Arm is concerned that it has not received enough applications yet and people will be going without. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Time running out for people in Salmon Arm to apply for hampers

Salvation Army urges residents to make appointments right away to get help with food at Christmas

If you need a Christmas food hamper or you know someone who does, time is slipping away for you to make an appointment to get one.

Salvation Army Lieutenant Joel Torrens explained that with the COVID-19 protocols, the Salvation Army food bank has to make appointments in order to meet with people about hampers and is running out of time.

He said hampers will be distributed on Dec. 16, so the appointments must take place before that.

“We want to make sure that everyone who needs one gets one.”

He said the goal this year with the pandemic is to set people up so they have three meals taken care of on Christmas Day.

In 2019, the Salvation Army assisted about 300 people at Christmas, he said. So far, only 170 people have registered and some of those are new to the area, so he estimates that about 350 people may be in need of a hamper.

“We’re about halfway there, and we only have so many appointment slots we can book people in for.”

To get an appointment, phone 250-832-9194.

Read more: Public workers step up for Shuswap non-profits

Read more: Need for housing in Salmon Arm climbs while units being constructed

Aside from Christmas hampers, he said the Salvation Army is distributing food Monday to Friday for people who are suffering because of the pandemic.

“We know it’s been a hard year for people, we know there is hope on the horizon, but day-to-day we know people are struggling and they’re not used to that. It’s hard to ask for help but that’s what we’re here for.”

For Christmas gifts, if people would like to donate, the Salvation Army has the Sleigh of Hope at the Mall at Piccadilly or people can bring them to the Salvation Army church building downtown.

The Toy Shop will be held again this year, so parents of children 17 and under can go through the shop and pick up things for them.

He said all the gifts come from donations, toy drives that different groups put on for the Salvation Army, groups that knit mittens and hats, and more.

If people wish to donate, they can do so at the Christmas Kettles in the community or they can make an online donation at

“Salmon Arm is so generous, we always appreciate that people choose to donate to the Salvation Army,” Torrens said.

“This is the time of year where we do the bulk of fundraising for our operations budget. At this moment, though, we’re more concerned that there are people out there who aren’t going to get the help they need.”
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