The Shepherds of Good Hope says they are still looking for food donations to help 200 families in need celebrate the holidays with a Christmas meal.

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The Ottawa charity is seeking donations for its Christmas Hamper program, which connects low-income families with sponsors who want to donate meals.

Lynda Geddes with the Shepherds of Good Hope said the interest in the meals was immediate.

"We had to shut down the family side pretty early," said Geddes. "Within three weeks I had over 800 families registered and that usually takes about four and a half weeks to get that number. So the demand is quite high. The need is out there."

The charity said they are still looking for donations for about 200 families on the list. The hampers will go out beginning Dec. 19.

Geddes said for sponsors looking to donate, the hampers are simple to put together.

"The basic hamper is the Christmas meal. So that would be turkey or ham, potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, cranberries, all that stuff. And if they could throw in some extra meals, that would be great," she said.

Volunteer Danielle Latreille has donated food hampers to families in need for the past five years and said it is a rewarding feeling.

"I feel so fortunate. We have a good job. We have a good life. And we just want to help people who are less fortunate," she said.

The Shepherds of Good Hope also provides food for the city's homeless and programs including emergency shelters and supportive living, as well as supplying groceries to more than 21,000 Ottawa families.

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