This holiday season, the Christmas Bureau of the Columbia Valley will once again be helping out families struggling to provide abundant meals around the dinner table.

For the 17th season in a row, food hampers and modest gifts will be supplied to needy families, and it’s up to local families, clubs, businesses and organizations to help.

Small, medium or large hampers can be assembled, and there is a different list of items for each hamper size. Anyone who decides to participate should call Gail at 250-342-6752 or email to confirm their commitment by Wednesday, December 12.

Each hamper will be given a number that identifies both the anonymous donor and the anonymous recipient, and the number must be displayed in large print on all sides of the hamper box.

The drop off time for these hampers will be between 8 a.m. and noon at the Invermere Community Hall on Thursday, December 20, which is also distribution day.

For more information or to make alternate arrangement for hamper drop offs if necessary, call Gail at the above number or Helen at 250-342-6789.

Last year 247, families received gifts and food, easing budgets stretched to accommodate additional winter expenses like heating fuel and cold weather clothing.

For applicants, pick up your hampers and gifts on Thursday, December 20 between 3 and 6 p.m. If you are unable to come to the community hall, write a note to authorize someone else to pick up your hamper. Volunteers will not be available for next day pick up. Submit your request for a hamper by calling (250) 342-6752 or (250) 342-6789 by Wednesday, December 12.