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Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone come to the food bank?
No. People who come to the Surrey Food Bank must register with us to become a client and must meet low income requirements in order to qualify to register. Refer here for a list of our registration requirements.
How often can registered clients get a food hamper?
Clients can receive a food hamper once every fourteen days.
Isn't the food bank just a crutch?
By coming to the Food Bank people are helping themselves. The small amount of food we provide (about 3 - 4 days worth of food in a 14 day period) allows them to free up dollars in their meagre budgets for other living expenses like transportation, clothing and extra school costs for their children.
Are you really helping feed 15,000 people a month?
Yes. In 2009 we provided over 44,000 hampers to our low income neighbours. In addition we also provide food support for a number of recovery houses, safe houses, shelters, youth centres, soup kitchens, and specialty food banks in Surrey and North Delta.
How many children do you help?
41% of our clients are children and babies.
What do you need the most?
See our top-10 list for our current requirements.
Why don't they get a job/stop smoking/manage their money better/etc?
We are not a judging organization. We address the immediate need of helping people feed themselves. We offer temporary assistance to people who need a "hand-up" during a challenging time in their lives.
Is it better to donate money or food?
It is really a matter of the donor's preference. We need both food and money to help us to fulfil our mission and what we like to think of as, "helping people help themselves." We are able to buy more with the cash because we can purchase food in larger quantities and usually at discounted prices. 100% of donated money goes to the operation of the Surrey Food Bank.
My neighbour's cousin's wife goes to the Food Bank and she isn't low income?
No matter how stringent we make the requirements, there will always be some misuse, but if there is a 2% misuse rate, that means that 98% of our clients are legitimately in need. Why punish the 98% for the mistakes of the few? And, are you sure she is not low-income? She might be too ashamed to let people see the reality of her situation. She may also have lost her job and is struggling with a mountain of debt. We do require all our clients to show proof of low income in order to come to the food bank.
What do I do if my question isn't listed here?
Ask us! You can reach us at 604.581.5443 or via email.



Door-to-door cash solicitations

The Surrey Food Bank does not go door-to-door to solicit cash donations nor do we partner with any other organization to do so. If you are approached by someone claiming to represent the "Surrey Food Bank" or the "Food Bank" please note as many details about the individual as you can and contact the non-emergency number for the RCMP