Food bank requires extra items during Christmas period

With Christmas on its way, the Gore Salvation Army is gearing up for one of the most stressful times of the year for some families.

The Salvation Army food bank has been under pressure for much of the year with higher than usual demand.

Community worker Tom Banks said the food bank needed many staple items such as sauces, cooking oils, sugar, milo and coffee and nonperishable items such as toiletries and cleaning products.

Little and often is the Salvation Army's approach to vegetables and fruit. However, it is grateful for larger quantities of either if the fruit or vegetables have the potential to be made into jams or relishes.

Gifts and vouchers are also accepted, especially for mothers, fathers and teens. Captain Avis Owen said many people dropped in with vouchers last year.

‘‘Last year a little girl came in and gave us all of her birthday money. We are always blessed with Christmas extras.

‘‘There are people that are doing it really hard but still drop stuff in.''

Mr Banks said he could not stress too strongly how fortunate the Salvation Army was to live in ‘‘such an incredible community''.

‘‘When they [members of the community] find out there is a need, they are prepared to step up and put their money where their mouth is and trust us to pass it on.''

The Salvation Army will still provide services to those in need during the Christmas break.

Capt Owen said the Army realised it was a stressful time of year and they would do their best to meet any needs.

‘‘Those in need should not hesitate to contact us. ‘‘We can still contact other agencies during this time.''

- The Salvation Army office will close at 4pm on December 23 and reopen at 9am on January 6 and will be open throughout January on Tuesday to Friday from 9am to noon.
The answering machine is cleared regularly and will give out an emergency number.

- The Salvation Army Family Store will close on December 23 at 4pm and re-open on January 5 at 9.30am. Pick-ups or deliveries cannot be made during this time. However, the donation bin will be cleared regularly.

- The Salvation Army will hold its Community Meal and Celebration Service at the Family Store, 28 Irwell St, on Sunday, December 14, at 10.30am to 1pm. There will be cold meats, salads, vegetables, desserts and nibbles.

Some of the district's young people will perform an interactive play Jesus' Christmas Party.
RSVP please to Kaye Byron on (03) 208-4443 before Wednesday, December 3, or email to salvation Gentlemen a dessert and ladies a salad please.

- A Christmas Day service will be held at the Salvation Army at 9.30am.

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