Madge and Jim Vecchio, on the right, received the Special Recognition Award at the Surrey Food Bank’s Christmas open house on Saturday, Nov. 24. Santa Claus was a special guest at the event and presented the awards with food bank executive director Feezah Jaffer, second left. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Madge and Jim Vecchio, on the right, received the Special Recognition Award at the Surrey Food Bank’s Christmas open house on Saturday, Nov. 24. Santa Claus was a special guest at the event and presented the awards with food bank executive director Feezah Jaffer, second left. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey Food Bank honours donors at Christmas open house

Thirteen organizations, people and groups receive awards

Without the help of consistent donors, supporters and volunteers, the Surrey Food Bank executive director says the organization wouldn’t be able to do the work they do.

Thirteen organizations, people and groups were honoured at the Surrey Food Banks annual Christmas open house on Saturday, Nov. 24.

“We do this event every year as a thank you to our donors, our supporters, our volunteers, our staff, our community. We really, really can’t do what we do without you,” said executive director Feezah Jaffer to a crowd of people filling up the Surrey Food Bank.

The first award of the morning went to Odlum Brown for Outstanding Corporate Donor. Jaffer said the company has donated more than $40,000 to the food bank in recent years.

“That money goes directly to purchasing much-needed items like protein, formula, diapers, fresh produce.”

Outstanding Small Business Donor went to B&W Insurance, which Jaffer said are “wonderful donors and supporters this last year, donating over $2,000.”

Salesian Gospel Roads Youth Group received Outstanding Service Club for “for everything they do for us, for their greater community and shaping the youth of tomorrow,” Jaffer said.

“The youth that they bring always show such compassion, such warmth and a really, really great community spirit.”

Outstanding Donor went to David and Tanis Jorge.

Stericycle, which received Outstanding Food Industry Donor, has given “hundreds of thousands of pounds of food that goes directly into the hands of our clients,” Jaffer said. That food, she said, is donated through “reclamation.”

“What comes in reclamation is not only food items, but also other essential items that our clients need. Things like toiletries, pet food and all those overlooked items that you probably don’t think about when you go to the grocery store.”

The Outstanding Community Supporter award went to Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. Jaffer said the Delta-based organization has donated more than $15,000 to the Surrey Food Bank over the last two years.

TD Canada Trust received the award for Outstanding Volunteer Group.

Outstanding School Supporter went to Chimney Hill Elementary students.

“Each and every single one of those kids has made an impact by coming here,” she said. “It’s so great to see their faces when they come in and then when they leave because, inevitably, their outlook changes, and that’s one of the reasons why I love my job so much and why I know our staff loves their job so much.”

Beta Sigma Phi received the award for Outstanding Tiny Bundles Supporter. Jaffer said the women’s sorority hosts a “wine and cheese night” where items such as baby clothes and diapers are donated, and once a week volunteers come by to help out at the food bank.

“Our tiny bundles program is quite a robust program and we serve over 200 babies a week,” she said. “Our tiny bundles program is the largest in the province. Forty-one per cent of our clients are children, and 60 per cent of that number are under the age of 10. Sixty per cent of that number are under the age of five.”

The BC Lions received the Outstanding Supporter award for their volunteer efforts over the years. Jaffer said that “For many years, the BC Lions have been our neighbours and friends.”

However, the Special Recognition Award went to the Vecchios, a couple in their 80s. Jim and Madge Vecchio, Jaffer said, “have been a constant sight here every Wednesday at the Surrey Food Bank for over 10 years.”

Jaffer said every week the couple brings sandwiches for volunteers, and they volunteer with their church, St. Matthew’s Parish, which hosts a soup kitchen.

“This award is for their tenacity, for their compassion for their spirit, for their love of those less fortunate,” Jaffer said. “They’re two of my favorite people in the world, and I don’t say that for a lot of people, except my family and the people here. The Vecchios are truly the epitome of what community spirit and compassion should be.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

READ ALSO: Local union in Surrey takes it to the streets for the food bank

READ ALSO: ‘Epic BBQ’ on Surrey farm cooks up $20,000 for food bank

READ ALSO: Surrey Food Bank needs donations as kids head back to school

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Surrey-raised forward Jujhar Khaira in action with Edmonton Oilers. (Photo: nhl.com)
Q&A: Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira credits parents for their hard work on his path to NHL

Port Kells-raised player talks about his journey to pro hockey with Edmonton Oilers

The interventional oncology team at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested in innovative technologies to kickstart a new Interventional Oncology service at Surrey Memorial Hospital. (Submitted photo: Yvonne Chiang)
Surrey Memorial home to machines for ‘minimally invasive’ cancerous tumours treatments

Technology can freeze, burn tumours without need for surgery

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read