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

Just Posted

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
Surrey child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from May 2 to 8, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Active COVID-19 cases in Delta down to six-week low

169 cases May 2 to 8; overall number in Fraser Health down for the third week in a row

Trucks line up for food during a drive-thru event on the PNE grounds last May. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)
Drive-thru food truck fest coming to North Surrey Secondary lot

School a ‘great location – high traffic, very visible, and a very large parking lot’

Volunteers unload 1,000 meal kits at the Cloverdale Community Kitchen May 12. CCK was gifted the meals from Goodfood and distributed the entire truckload to the needy in less than 24 hours. (Photo: Submitted)
Cloverdale Community Kitchen distributes 1,000 meals in less than 24 hours

Meal kits went to charities in Surrey, Langley, White Rock

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at Maple Ridge School’s main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read