On Friday June 24, 2016 Miss Teenage BC, Miss Teenage Maple Ridge, and I volunteered at the Surrey Food Bank. Our day started with “Meet the Bank” which is an introductory presentation to the Surrey Food Bank’s programs.
~Surrey Food Bank Quick Facts~
- Households from all over Surrey and North Delta utilize the Surrey Food Bank.
- Individuals can come to the Food Bank every 14 days to receive a food hamper (hamper size is determined by the number of members in the household).
- Each hamper provides enough food to last 3 -4 days.
- The tiny bundles program allows pregnant mothers, and families with babies to receive a hamper once a week with eggs, milk, and diapers.
- The most prevalent client is a single parent with two young children and has a monthly Salary of approximately $2 200. After income tax, rent, and utility costs there is only $250 left for food, clothing, and transportation.
- The majority of the food, is made available through donations from the community.
- In past years, the Surrey Food Bank would distribute pre-packed hampers, but to reduce food waste the Food Bank allows the clients to choose what food items they wish to take.
After the presentation, we were each assigned a food station; my station was labelled “meal in a tin.” The station consisted of multiple boxes of canned beans varying in flavour (with the odd can of ravioli tossed in there). The number of food items a household receives at each station is dependent on their hamper size. For example, a household of 2-3 people would have a size two hamper, which would receive 2 items from the soup station, 2 items, from the meal in a tin station, and so on. Each station was provided with a menu, indicating how many items each hamper size would receive.
The girls, and I worked at our stations for four hours, but the time seemed to fly by very quickly. It was great to see that people would only take what they needed, and did not take a food item just because it was included in the hamper (yay for no food waste!).
Not only was I able to reconnect with two of my BC titleholders, I was also able to meet such a large group of diverse people, and learn some valuable information which allowed me to gain some perspective on my local community. Volunteering at the Surrey Food Bank was a wonderful way to spend the day, and I would definitely go back and do it again.
-Miss Teenage Surrey 2016