Salvation Army helps hundreds with Christmas giveaway
Hundreds of seniors and disadvantaged families have benefited from bundles of Christmas groceries from the Salvation Army.
A senior member of the event’s coordination team said that more than 300 seniors visited the Botanical Gardens to collect holiday bundles on Friday and more than 300 more clients were expected yesterday.
She added: “So far everything has gone smoothly. We were able to social distance, sanitise hands, take temperatures and do contact tracing for everyone.
“This year we have seen a definite increase in clients coming to us since Covid, and we have had an increase in clients signing up for Christmas help.”
The organiser, who asked not to be named, said the charity had seen an increase in larger “blended” families this year.
She added: “On seniors days, we usually see single people or households with one or two people.
“We have seen bigger households this year because the families have blended together.”
Clients got a turkey or a chicken, depending on the size of their family, along with a grocery card and a bag of items including food, toilet paper and paper towels.
One senior said the groceries offered a respite at an expensive time of the year.
She added: “Money doesn’t seem to go as far as it usually does, so being able to get a turkey for the holidays means a lot.
“It may seem insignificant for some, but it’s a small luxury for a lot of people that helps them get through.”
Another senior said he was “very grateful” for the support of the charity and that the groceries meant more to him than just food.
He said: “These gifts mean I can put money towards my electricity bill, I can put money towards my gas, I can put money towards a gift for my grandchildren.
“It means a lot for people like me who really need a helping hand every once in a while.”