Members of the Facebook group Surrey Community Corner with some of the donations collected for Surrey Food Bank. Pictured from left to right are Kyla Murphy, Emily Bhardwaj and Manav Bhardwaj. (photo: facebook.com)

Members of the Facebook group Surrey Community Corner with some of the donations collected for Surrey Food Bank. Pictured from left to right are Kyla Murphy, Emily Bhardwaj and Manav Bhardwaj. (photo: facebook.com)

Surrey Facebook group members donate 2,734 items during six-week food drive

Donations were delivered to Surrey Food Bank’s new warehouse in Newton

We know about the bad side of Facebook, which can be a pit of political put-downs and shadowy behaviour, but the social-media hub can also do some good.

For example, consider the recent food drive organized on Surrey Community Corner, a private group of 2,300 Facebook-ers.

“We ended up collecting 2,734 items in six weeks,” said drive organizer Manav Bhardwaj.

The last of the donations were dropped off at Surrey Food Bank’s Newton warehouse on Monday, Nov. 2.

“The last two drops have totalled close to 1,000 pounds of food,” Bhardwaj noted. “This last week we set a record with 830 items donated. This was about 600 pounds of food… We had 50-plus people from the group donate, and we got both our immediate families to donate as well.”

Bhardwaj and his wife, Emily, organized the food drive, and both are administrators of the Facebook group, which was launched in May 2017.

“We wanted to build a space where community members could get to know one another and interact with people they may not have had a chance to interact with in their daily lives,” Manav says. “The purpose of the group was to create a sense of community between neighbors.”

Manav says he isn’t into selling or advertising anything on the Facebook page, he just likes to interact with fellow Surreyites there.

“My wife and I have an open-door policy which means you can pm us if you have a question, want to chat or are in need,” he told the Now-Leader. “We have been lucky enough to be able to be in a spot where we can help those in need. We really enjoy it a lot.”

With the food drive, he says Surrey Community Corner members really stepped up, and they’re already planning to collect more again next year.

“You guys all deserve a round of (applause) and all the credit in the world for stepping up during a pandemic and helping so many families in need,” says a Facebook post on Nov. 2. “We also brought the (food bank) staff and volunteers a couple of dozen donuts on behalf of the group.”

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