Fill the cupboard, fill hearts this Christmas

The objective of the Full Cupboard Holiday Program is right there in the name – but there is more to the local effort to bring food and gifts to the disadvantaged.

Langley-based Envision Financial has set up its Christmas trees for the fifth year in a row, and is gathering gifts for children and seniors, as well as food for local food banks.

“Food Bank Canada’s HungerCount 2014 revealed that BC food bank usage is up 3.6% and 30.8% of food bank users are children,” said Envision manager of community investment Susan Byrom.

Byrom said the program was dubbed the Angel Tree program when it first started.

The trees in local branches would be hung with tags with the ages and genders of children, or indicating a gift for a senior.

Customers could pick a tag and bring in a gift aimed at that person.

The focus on seniors was one of the things that set the program apart.

“We have seniors who are isolated, we have seniors who may not have family anymore,” Byrom said.

Langley City in particular has a sizeable population of seniors, many of them living alone or in some form of care home.

The program also helps offer meaning to people who may not have a senior in their life anymore, Byrom said.

Two years ago the Angel Tree morphed into the Full Cupboard program. It still gathers gifts but also food for food banks in all the communities where the credit union operates.

Replacing the angel cards on the trees are cards with lists of things needed by food banks, and also of common gifts for children at different ages, including infants, along with gift ideas for seniors.

Other cards list things that are always needed by food banks, including cash contributions that can be put to good use on the charities’ expenses.

The Full Cupboard has already raised $176,000, and collected more than 17,000 pounds of food over its short lifetime.

Getting the food where it’s going and the gifts to those who need them is done by partnering with local organizations and charities.

In Langley, that means working with groups like the Langley Seniors Resource Centre, the Langley Lodge, and the Langley Food Bank.

As technology changes, new ways of giving have appeared, including texting to donate. This will be the first year the Fill the Cupboard program has a text to donate system.

Texting FULL to 41010 will donate $10 to a local food bank. If your phone number can be localized by a common first three numbers (like 530 or 856 in Langley) the money will stay within Langley. For numbers that can’t be localized, the money will be divided up or go to a food bank that needs more financial help, said Byrom.

One of the pleasures of the program is seeing staff and members taking part, said Byrom.

“Gosh, it’s overwhelming every year,” she said. “It’s heartwarming to see the number of gifts and food that come in.”

Items can be dropped off at all Envision locations, as well as at the Langley Advance offices at 6375 202 St.

Just Posted

Cancer campaign close to home for firefighters

Annual daffodil drive collects money to fight an illness all too comon in the profession

Langley gymnasts golden at provincials

LGF and Flip City win multiple all-around champion awards

Young ukulele players wow Langley audience

The performance highlights several upcoming concerts.

Langley police seek new leads in hit and run cold case

Six years ago, someone struck a young woman with a car and drove off

VIDEO: Langley Lawn Bowling Club prepares for new season

Social aspect is a big part of the game, members say

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Vaisakhi parade to fill Surrey streets Saturday: Everything you need to know

More than 500,000 people expected for one of the world’s largest Vaisakhi-related events

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Man in hospital after crash involving parked car in Vancouver

It is unclear what led to the collision involving a black Acura and a parked Land Rover

Most Read