Salvation Army extends hours for Christmas hamper distribution program

The toy and food hamper distribution program is being held as a drive-thru event due to the rise in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and public health restrictions. The Canadian Press Images / Mark Spowart

There will be an adjustment to the Guelph Salvation Army’s toy and hamper distribution program.

Due to the rise in cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and public health restrictions implemented by the province, the organization said its program will be a drive-thru event.

Despite the change, corps officer Peter van Duinen said the event is still happening on Dec. 22.

“We will have volunteers stationed out in our parking lot,” van Duinen said.

“We’ve got Guelph police helping direct traffic, we’ve got a lot of volunteers that will be on site so our hope is that it’ll go smoothly.”

Van Duinen said the biggest change to the event is that they’re extending the hours, to help accommodate the potential backup of vehicles.

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“We understand that we all kind of need to shift and pivot this way, and we want to do this in the safest way possible, and having over 1,000 people gathering inside our facility is just not going to be able to guarantee that,” he said.

Van Duinen said people with last names starting with the letters A to L can come at their regular scheduled time, while volunteers with a surname between M and Z are asked to come three hours after their scheduled time.

He added volunteers have a green slip after they register for the program and asked that they bring their green slip with them when they arrive.

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The program is among the services that are part of the Salvation Army’s 2021 Christmas campaign, which started on Nov 18.

He said you can still donate towards the Christmas campaign on the organization’s website.

The Christmas campaign is in its final week and goes until Dec. 24.


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