Surrey Food Bank executive director Feezah Jaffer at the organization’s new home in Newton. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey Food Bank executive director Feezah Jaffer at the organization’s new home in Newton. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey Food Bank thinking ‘out of the box’ to elicit donations this Christmas

Donations through the holiday season last much of the year for the charity

The Surrey Food Bank is getting creative this holiday season as it’s expected the pandemic will mean a drop in critical donations.

“Holidays are our busiest times (for donations), and we’re not where we were last year,” said Feezah Jaffer, the charity’s executive director.

“We’re quite concerned about the donations that will be coming in through the holiday and that’s what lasts us through the year. So the donations we get during this time are critical. Last year our goal was half a million dollars and half a million pounds of food. Last year we exceeded the goal but this year’s it’s anybody’s guess.”

Anticipating a drop due to COVID-19, Jaffer said the food bank staff have been doing some “out of the box thinking” to raise funds.

“So we’re going to be doing a text-to-donate campaign, an advent calendar campaign, and a lot of our supporters are doing virtual events instead of parties or galas or parades, things like that,” she said.

READ MORE: Surrey Food Bank opens huge new ‘forever home’ in Newton

Jaffer said the food bank saw a spike in clients at the beginning of the pandemic in the spring, with the number of clients surging to 12,000 to 13,000.

While numbers dropped a bit when government supports like CERB kicked in, she anticipates another surge in the new year.

“With CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) done and people transitioning to EI, we’re seeing a bit of an uptick again,” Jaffer said. “But I think it’s going to be a couple months until we see the fallout economically. We’re expecting another surge in January and February.”

But Jaffer is encouraged thus far, with many organizations and regular donors are finding creative ways to hold virtual or drive-thru fundraisers, in light of the current restrictions related to the pandemic.

“So there’s the uncertainty, but there’s also certainty in the support we are seeing from the community.”

Jaffer noted the food bank has reverted back to doing pre-built hampers in light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Everybody please, be safe,” she urged. “If you need the food bank, please call our offices and make an appointment. If you’re sick please do not come – we have a third-party pick up option. If you’d like to donate, online is best right now.”

For more information or to donate, visit surreyfoodbank.org.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read