Hampers for the holidays

Food donated to the Knights of Columbus and St. Mary's Parish Christmas hamper program in Tillsonburg, and food purchased from donations, is packed into boxes on Dec. 21st for holiday delivery. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

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Families and individuals in Tillsonburg received a donation of food for the holidays when Knights of Columbus and St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish assembled and delivered 42 Christmas hampers on Saturday, Dec. 21.

The Knights planned to give one box to one-person applicants, and two boxes to family applicants, each box brimming to overflowing.

“Our biggest one has five people, they’ll get two full boxes,” said Norbert Vanhooren, Knights of Columbus, Tillsonburg Council 3212.

Boxes included cereal, rice, soup, juice, hot chocolate, crackers, cake mix and icing, cookies, granola bars, canned vegetables… and more.


Packaging the Knights of Columbus and St. Mary’s Parish ‘hampers’ in Tillsonburg on Dec. 21. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN


St. Jospeph’s School in Tillsonburg was a major contributor, Vanhooren noted.

“They sent more stuff over… than we bought. They did really well this year – I think it was three or four van loads. Canned goods, cereals, condiments, you name it. One of the teachers came up with an idea and they had daily drives. There was a coffee and tea day, one was a cereal day, so they brought in boxes and boxes of cereal. Canned goods and soups. We had enough cans of soup that everybody got seven cans. And the bigger families got even more.

“It was incredible. The response this year has been phenomenal.”

The morning assembly and afternoon delivery was done by volunteers on Saturday, Dec. 21.

“Incredible, people have really come through this year. It’s a bit of a community event here – we’ve got St. Mary’s Church Parish volunteers helping, we’ve got Knights of Columbus, and CWL does help out.”

Each of the 42 deliveries included a $25 voucher to go toward a turkey or ham – or whatever they wanted for their Christmas meal – at a local grocery store.


The Christmas hamper boxes, organized by the Knights of Columbus and St. Mary’s Parish in Tillsonburg, are filled and almost ready to go on Dec. 21st. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN


Families also received a grocery bag full of fresh vegetables purchased from Metro. A supply of laundry detergent was also distributed through donations. And a bag of potatoes each, donated by a Port Burwell area farmer.

“Actually, there’s enough (potatoes) to give out a little more to some of the bigger families,” said Vanhooren.

“We got so much stuff this year and there’s such a wide variety.”

Any items not distributed on the 21st, said Vanhooren, would be donated to St. Vincent de Paul and the Helping Hand Food Bank.