Program distributes 394 grocery boxes
Amherst's churches are working to make sure no one goes hungry this Christmas.
Volunteers at Faith Pentecostal Church stock Christmas Cheer boxes. The program, run by nine Amherst area churches, distributed approximately 394 grocery boxes in the community this year.
AMHERST – Amherst’s Christmas Cheer program has seen a slight increase in the number of food boxes being distributed this year.
Rev. Charlotte Ross of Christ Church said approximately 394 boxes have been distributed in the Amherst area this Christmas.
“That’s up slightly from last year, but on part with other years,” Ross said.
Nine area churches have been collecting food and donations of money for several weeks to stock the Christmas Cheer boxes, that were distributed by a handful of volunteers to recipients early Monday.
Ross said each box contains enough food to support a family through the holiday period. The value of each box is between $80 and $100 and each box contains either a ham (for a single person) or a turkey (for a family). There are treats, milk, bread, eggs, canned goods and other items.
“The main thing is to make sure no one goes hungry over the Christmas holidays,” Ross said. “There should be enough food in the boxes to last a week.”
Ross said the churches have done a magnificent job collecting items for the boxes, packing the boxes and distributing them in the community.
“The churches have different ways of doing things. Some gather items by placing a list in the church bulletins, while others go out all year and purchase items when they are on sale,” she said.
Referrals were handled through the Christmas for Kids Program, although there are always a few emergency calls to go to the host church. This year’s host church is Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church.
“Christmas is a time when people sometimes struggle. Some people are either out of work or working at minimum wage jobs and they don’t always get a 40-hour week. This program strives to help these people make sure they have food for Christmas,” Ross said. “There are always some that fall through the cracks or some we don’t hear about. We do the best we can with the resources we have and we try to help as many people as we can.”
Participating churches include Faith Pentecostal, Christ Church, First Baptist, Trinity-St. Stephen’s United, Immanuel United, Holy Family Parish, Salvation Army, Brookdale Charge United Church, Northumberland Charge United Church, the Amherst Wesleyan Church and Crossroads Gospel Church.
Ross is also reminding people of the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Bridge Workshop on Station Street.