On Monday, October 5, a group of Century Group staff went to the Surrey Food Bank to spend the morning volunteering. As part of our Community Engagement program, we strive to give back to the communities where we do business and decided to support the Food Bank because of the tremendous impact they make in the community of Surrey.
The food bank is a grocery supplement program, meaning that a family’s grocery hamper will provide basic staples such as rice, pasta, canned foods, baking items, juice, vegetables, and bread, and is intended to supplement other grocery purchases. We were very impressed at the bank’s superior level of organisation and how easy it was to step in and help out. Two of the main things we appreciated most were the variety of options that were offered to clients and their distribution approach, which allows clients to choose the items they put in their hamper. This approach, as opposed to handing out pre-assembled hampers, significantly reduces waste as it avoids people receiving food they do not like and having it go to waste.
Volunteers at the bank do an assortment of tasks, including sorting donated food, organizing it and handing it out to clients at individual food stations. Our staff handing out food to clients and were humbled by how incredibly kind and appreciative they were. It was eye opening to see the wide range of clients that are supported by the food bank, from young families to senior citizens.
The Surrey Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization and operates strictly on money and food that is donated. Currently they receive no government funding, which is incredible when you see what a sophisticated operation they are running.
The food bank originated in 1982 during a downturn in the economy and was originally intended to be a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Over 30 years later, the Surrey Food Bank has grown into a 7,000 sq. ft. building in Surrey City Centre, with a fleet of vehicles and 100 active volunteers. They currently distribute over 2,000 food hampers each week.