HRM Christmas support FAQ

Here are some questions people often have about accessing Christmas support in HRM.

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How likely is it that I will get support?
For the past two years we’ve been able to provide support to 96% of the households that requested it. The key is to register as soon as you can and to make sure that we always have your current contact information. Each year, when we’re unable to provide support to a small number of people, most often, it’s because we have no way to get in touch with them.

Should I register more than once each Christmas season?
Each household will receive support once, regardless of how many registrations they submit during the given Christmas season, and it won’t increase your chances of getting support. In fact, submitting multiple registrations will cause delays in processing.

Is one way better to register than another?
No, not really. However, if there is a partner organization that you’re familiar with, or hoping to receive support from, then registering with them will increase the likelihood that your support will come from them.

What is a partner organization?
A food bank, non-profit organization, program, or community service club that provides support during the holiday season. We work with them to ensure that our collective holiday support helps as many households as possible.

For the purposes of registration, who is considered to be part of my ‘household’?
When it comes to Christmas support, your household consists of you and anyone who is living with you on a regular basis. Your household doesn’t include extended family that are normally living elsewhere. They can and should register for Christmas support for themselves separately.

What should I do if I am concerned that my registration wasn’t received?
Whenever possible, we will send confirmation emails and texts to let people know that we’ve received their request. If you don’t receive one within 5 business days of registering, then call the Christmas Registry line at 902-457-2849 and someone can check to see if we’ve received your request.

When will I hear back about getting support?
By mid-December most of our partner organizations are calling folks to let them know about their support, so if you have not heard back about your support by December 15, call 902-457-2849 to check about the status of your request. It may be possible that someone has been unsuccessfully trying to reach you.

How will I be contacted about my support?
We typically try to contact people with a phone call, so please ensure that we always have your current phone number on file and have voicemail set up, if possible. If reaching you with a phone call isn’t possible, we’ll attempt a text, or an email if you provide us with one when you register.

What should I do if my address or phone number changes?
Let us know as soon as you can. A lot of the time we match people with partner organizations based on location, so having an up-to-date and accurate address is important. As mentioned above, we typically use phone numbers to reach people, so if that changes, get in touch with us right away. Call 902-457-2849 or submit an information update form

Do I have to prove that I need support?
You do not have to prove your need to be eligible for support through the Christmas Registry. If you're reaching out, we will do our best to match you with an organization that can provide help. 

What support is available?
The Christmas Registry has food and gift support available through our partner organizations. Food support is available to anyone living in HRM and gift support is available for children who are under the age of 18 on December 24, 2022. When you are registering you must indicate what support you are requesting. We will not make assumptions that every household is looking for food support or that every household with children is requesting gift support.

Typically, our partner organizations provide households with food items for a special holiday meal, gift cards, or some combination of the two. Many of our partner organizations are able to accommodate a vegetarian or vegan dietary need, and some of our partner organizations are able to accommodate a halal dietary need. When you register, be sure to let us know if you have either of those dietary needs. We also have prepared Christmas dinners available in the metro area. The prepared dinners are individual portions including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable sides, and dessert. These are delivered on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day depending on where you live.

For children who will be under the age of 18 on December 24, 2022, our partner organizations provide gifts, gift cards, or some combination of the two. We know that children have many people in their lives who want to provide them gifts at Christmas time, however, to make our partner organizations’ gift support resources available to as many children as possible, we limit our support to one request per child, not per household or adult. If there are older dependents that you wish to request gift support for, please include this in your registration and we will let you know if your request can be fulfilled.

Can I get my support delivered?
Delivery will be available, but it may be more limited than in the previous two years. When considering whether you request to have support delivered, keep in mind that a friend or family member can also pick up support from on your behalf.

Why don’t you offer support for other cultural and religious holidays?
We know Nova Scotia is a diverse province, and there are a lot of holidays where food plays an important and special role in bringing people together to celebrate. Some of our member food banks and meal programs provide support for other important times of the year—like Ramadan, for example. Working toward increasing equitable access to food support every day of the year is a critical part of our work, but it takes time and significant collaboration with community.

Can I receive support if I don’t celebrate Christmas?
Yes, absolutely. The program, and the support it provides, is open to anyone.

If you have other concerns or questions, please reach out to us at christmas@feednovascotia.ca or call 902-457-2849.