Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)

Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

In 1991, Lesley Hames learned that the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank was broken into.

The theft came weeks before Christmas, one of the busiest times of the year for the food bank, and it was low on supplies.

Hames, who was at the start of her real-estate career at the time, came up with an idea. She thought a door-to-door food drive would be a great way to not only meet her community, but collect much-needed food items for the food bank.

On the second Saturday of December, 1991, she launched the “Annual Ocean Park Food Drive” with one of her colleagues. That year, PAN reported, the drive collected $100 and “40 cartons of food.”

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

Now a veteran saleswoman, the drive collected 2,700 pounds of food last year and raised $1,700. This year, Hames is expanding the food drive but nixed the meet-and-greet component.

“The need is definitely still there, and growing,” she wrote to PAN, noting that the food bank delivers food to clients under some circumstances. “But there may also be people who want to donate, but are curtailing their travels outside the home. We will make it easier for them to donate.”

Come Dec. 12-13, Hames and Wendy Fulford will not only collect donations from the 280 homes on their regular route in the Ocean Cliff Estates neighbourhood, but are to open it to every home west of 160 Street and south of 32 Avenue.

“We will not be knocking on any doors or having any personal interaction as per the current health order. We will wave from afar, but not get close. We will simply look for donations left on the front porch or driveway and pick those up,” she wrote.

Homeowners not located in the Ocean Cliff Estates neighbourhood, but who wish to participate, are asked to register their address so her team can collect donations on Dec. 12 or 13.

“Call, email or text! We will give you a window of when we will arrive. The entire donation will go to the Food Bank on Monday, Dec. 14.”

To register, contact Lesley at 604-657-8001 or email lesley_hames@hotmail.com

In a conversation with PAN this week, Hames said her family looks forward to the food drive every year, and it’s something she plans to keep running well into the future.