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

South Surrey mothers to launch CBD-infused water product

Three friends say benefits may include anxiety relief, pain management

4-year-old child injured in Surrey after falling out window

Child fell out of third-storey window, expected to fully recover

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Vancouver Giants complete weekend sweep of Cougars

Back-to-back road trip victories for Langley-based team

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read

l -->