For 21 years, Riverside has been striving to help support families during the holiday season. Every year, the hampers have a substantial impact on the lives of families in the Tri-Cities and, at the same time, bringing the school community together. The students and staff work hard to contribute to the hampers and help deliver them on the last day of school before the break.

Riverside has partnered with Share Food Bank to help families receive Christmas Hampers. RAP classes combined together and are each assigned a family to support them with nonperishable food items, basic necessities or any small gifts. This year, Riverside will be providing for 43 families in hopes that they will have a less stressful holiday season.

Photo courtesy of

Riverside counselor Ms. Kasey Chittenen organized the hampers this year. “Christmas Hampers are a nice opportunity for students to give back to the community and help other people out during a hard time of year,” said Chittenden.

There is, unfortunately, a stereotype and stigma that exists about people who need help. That somehow, they have mis managed their affairs. But the reality is that, the Lower Mainland is home to the most expensive housing market in Canada. From food and transportation to personal care and housing, the cost of living adds up, especially where in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver is listed to be the third least affordable city in the world. Therefore, families who apply for the Christmas hampers are under the pressure for many different circumstances, which makes it hard for them to afford the expensive holiday. For many families living in the Lower Mainland, the holiday is a luxury some have trouble affording. Pressure is put on the parents to put food on the table and buy presents in order to meet their family’s expectation of what a typical Christmas looks like. For many families, it can be a strain on their main source of income to make ends meet during the holidays, resulting in, for many, stress and depression.

Riverside’s support and donations can go a long way and many grateful for the actions of our Riverside school community. Students can help contribute by bringing their items to their RAP teacher as soon as possible!

Feature photo courtesy of QC Hampers