Boxes filled the front foyer of the Salvation Army Gateway of Hope homeless shelter at 5787 Langley Bypass on Wednesday, Dec. 22, as volunteers scrambled to pack and deliver 325 Christmas gift hampers to people in need.
Julie Gilfillan, Gateway operations manager, explained what was in the hampers.
“There’s chicken, chili, vegetables, canned goods, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, jam, peanut butter – all sorts of fun stuff.”
Most of it was purchased by the Salvation Army, along with some donated items, for delivery to single adults, couples without children and seniors who are residents of Langley and Aldergrove.
Outside in the parking lot, vehicles were waiting to pick up the boxes of food.
“It’s all volunteer drivers,” Gilfillan told the Langley Advance Times.
Each masked delivery person had routes for up to a dozen recipients, providing touchless delivery.
Recipients had been required to register in advance, providing personal identification (and that of their partner if applicable), confirmation of address and income verification.
Gilfillan noted it was the day after Gateway of Hope had hosted its annual Christmas dinner, with volunteers serving more than 100 clients of the homeless shelter in the main cafeteria, which had been decorated for the holiday event.
Because of pandemic restrictions, the clients had to be served at different times, in smaller groups.
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