Communities rally to bring holiday cheer to those in need

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local food banks are once again running hamper programs this holiday season to assist those in need.

Arthur Food Bank

The Christmas Hamper program in Arthur provided 55 hampers of food last season. Volunteer Ralph Roelofsen explained the program is “set up by the Arthur Lions Club and it’s to help people in the community with donations from local businesses and residents.”

Both food and cash donations are accepted at the Arthur TD Bank or Arthur Second Look by Dec. 18.

Registration forms to receive a hamper can be found at the Wellington County Learning Centre.

CW Food Bank

The Centre Wellington Food Bank is once again providing clients FreshCo gift cards instead of a hamper so that each family can purchase items specific to their needs.

Jackie Andrews, director at the Centre Wellington Food Bank, said she is blown away by the generosity of the community, which helps the food bank assist over 200 families every Christmas.

Cash donations to the program can be mailed or dropped off at the food bank at 105 Queen Street West, Unit 11, Fergus, 519-787-1401.

Clifford Food Bank

Clifford Food Bank baskets will include items for a Christmas dinner.

Clifford residents can register for a basket by calling 519-327-8588, before Dec. 13. Distribution will be the week of Dec. 16, and clients will be contacted to arrange pick up.

To donate to the food bank call 519-327-8588 to arrange pickup or delivery.

Drayton Food Bank

The Drayton Christmas hampers will include ingredients for a Christmas dinner. Donations can be dropped off at the Drayton Reformed Church, 74 Wellington Street South, between 9am and 9pm, or at the Drayton Freshmart.

Donations for the hamper program must be in by Dec. 19, though general donations are welcome year round.

Hampers are available for families or individuals in Mapleton who register by Dec. 11. The food bank can be reached at 519-504-2346 or


East Wellington Community Services  (EWCS), which serves Erin and Guelph-Eramosa, partners with Adopt-a-Family, run by the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington.

Registered individuals or families can get both a basket tailored to their needs (coats, hygiene products, etc.) as well as a hamper with Christmas dinner and breakfast. To sponsor a family or register to receive a hamper contact the Erin location (519-833-9696 extension 227, 45 Main Street) or the Rockwood location (519-856-2113, 107 Harris Street).

Harriston Food Bank

This year at the Harriston Food bank registration is required by Dec. 12 to receive a Christmas hamper.  Registration forms are available at the Harriston Food Bank and Legion.

Cash or cheque donations can be dropped off at the food bank by Dec. 12; distribution is Dec. 18.

If  donators “want a receipt they must make it payable to the Town of  Minto,” says food bank coordinator Iris Richardson. The Harriston Food Bank can be reached at 519-510-3663.

Mount Forest

The hamper program is run by the Mount Forest Christmas Bureau, a subsidiary of the Mount Forest Community Pantry.

Each family receives ingredients for a Christmas dinner, a box of toiletries and extra food/gift cards for the holiday week. The deadline for applications to receive a hamper is Dec. 6 and the deadline for donations is Dec. 15. The  hampers will be distributed on Dec. 20 at Victory Community Centre.

“Tax receipts are available (for monetary donations) by sending a cheque to the Mount Forest Christmas Bureau at P.O. Box 54, Mount Forest, N0G 2L0, or dropping it off at M&M Food Market,” said Daphne Rappard, a bureau volunteer. The bureau can be contacted at 519-509-5174.

Palmerston Food Bank

In Palmerston, requests for Christmas hampers will be taken until Dec. 1, and will be distributed on Dec. 20.

Those interested in receiving a hamper can call 519-417-4774 and leave a name and phone number or email

Food items for donation can be brought to the Foodland in Palmerston, or checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 1130 in Palmerston.