Derek and Karen Hobson were among the volunteers packing hampers at the Salvation Army in Penticton on Tuesday. The hampers are for the festive season, but organizers are packing them early in case there is a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic this fall and winter. (John Arendt - Black Press)

Volunteers in Penticton begin packaging seasonal food hampers

Salvation Army preparing for possible second wave of COVID-19 to affect December hampers

During some of the hottest days of 2020, staff and volunteers at the Salvation Army in Penticton have been packing food hampers for the festive season in December.

Maj. Paul Trickett of the Salvation Army said the organization is working to assemble 1,000 hampers with non-perishable goods such as dried foods, jams, cereals, gravy mixes and canned vegetables.

Gift cards will be added so recipients can purchase meats.

READ ALSO: Penticton Salvation Army aims to raise $140,000 through 2019 Christmas Kettle Campaign

READ ALSO: Mining and exploration industries donate $100K to B.C. food banks

Trickett said the hampers are being prepared now in case there is a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic later in the year.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” he said.

Last year, the Salvation Army distributed around 800 hampers to homes in Penticton. This year, because of the pandemic, Trickett expects the demand will increase.

He said the centre is already receiving more requests for food.

“People are struggling more and more,” he said, adding that he expects a further increase in food demand later when the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program comes to an end.

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