As a variety of charities work to supply children with back packs and school supplies before they head back to school, the food bank is trying to help ensure children have food in their bellies, as well.
Surrey Food Bank executive director Feezah Jaffer says the organization is seeing an increase in “working poor” families, meaning single or two-parent families with young children struggling to make ends meet.
“Forty-one per cent of our clients are children, the highest in the province,” she said. “We’re also seeing a number of new immigrant families, just new to the country, trying to settle into their new homeland.”
Jaffer said as the charity’s clientele becomes more diverse “we are constantly working to address the changing needs.”
“Summertime is always a challenge for donations, with people on vacation, and the thinking that the holiday season is the time for giving,” she said. “But hunger knows no season so we like to encourage our community to give all year round if they are able.”
As kids head back to school, the Surrey Food Bank is looking for donations of proteins (such as canned fish or meat), whole grain rice and whole grain pasta and sauce.
“Things that families can make wholesome meals out of,” said Jaffer. “We are still needing donations of formula, large size diapers, size 5 and 6, and cereal for our Tiny Bundles program. We have over 60 babies waiting to be born in the next few months.”
Jaffer said the charity currently serves roughly 14,000 low-income individuals a month in Surrey and North Delta — an average of 180 families per day.
For more information, or to donate online, visit surreyfoodbank.org.