Cloverdale Christmas Hamper struggling to find space for season

A growing year-round kitchen has kicked the holiday food program out of its warehouse space

The Cloverdale Christmas Hamper is looking for a new space to set up camp for the 2017 holiday season.

The Christmas Hamper has been running for 25 years. The program delivers hampers of food to about 600 families in Cloverdale for Christmas, and gathers donations from local schools and businesses.

Over the past nine years, the food hamper program has been based out of Pacific Community Church’s warehouse, director Matthew Campbell said. The Cloverdale Community Kitchen is also run out of the same space.

The increased growth of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen, which operates three times a week, has led to an expansion of its eating area and its kitchen, which in turn encroached on the warehouse space needed to sort the food donations.

“We did it to ourselves,” Campbell said. “But we did it to ourselves because we have to feed people year round … but then that is hurting us for our one month here at Christmas time.”

Now, the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper is looking for 5,000 to 8,000 sq. feet of warehouse space to call home for about four weeks in November and December.

Related: Surrey Christmas Bureau welcomes new leader, but in need of home for the holidays

The program has had a few leads, but so far none of them have turned out.

Campbell has reached out to other churches, many of which run their own Christmas programs, but none of them have the flexibility of the warehouse space. They were almost able to use a local Catholic school’s gymnasium, but conflicts with class schedules ruled that one out. There were also talks with a retail space which was only 1,500 sq. feet.

“We need all this space to bring in about 50,000 pounds of food,” Campbell said. “In about a three week period, all this food comes in, and we literally have hundreds of volunteers … and we need the space for them to come and sort food and make the hampers.”

Anyone who knows of a facility the program might be able to use is invited to contact Campbell at matthew.campbell@pacificcommunity.ca.

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