From left: Feezah Jaffer, Surrey Food Bank executive director; Santa Claus; Hillcrest Elementary student Ella Duncan, teacher Alison van Wermeskerken and student Xavier Smith. (Submitted photo: Alison van Wermeskerken)

The Surrey Food Bank hosted its open house over the weekend, while also honouring some of its “outstanding” volunteers throughout the year.

The award recipients were: Jamieson’s Pet Food Distributors for Outstanding Corporate Donor; Chahat Group of Industries and Dan the Man Autobody Repairs for Outstanding Small Business Donor; Hollyburn Support Services for Outstanding Community Supporter; Coast Capital Savings for Outstanding Volunteer Group; Wolfe Auto Group for outstanding Supporter; Surrey Now-Leader for Outstanding Media Supporter; Carol Dodd for Outstanding Tiny Bundles Supporter; and Hillcrest Elementary School for Outstanding School Supporter.

Colony Farm also received special recognition for its members’ volunteer hours.

Hillcrest Elementary teacher Alison van Wermeskerken said for three or four years, the school has been sending students to volunteer at the food bank because they study poverty in social studies.

“My focus is for the students to be empowered and be able to do things about some problems in the world, and poverty is something they can do something about,” said Wermeskerken, adding that volunteering with the food bank is a part of that.

Wermeskerken said the students either hand out food to people or work in the back room sorting out items such as toiletries and kitchen utensils into bags that will then be distributed.

“One of the things that is really neat is that they really enjoy doing it and that they ask if they can do it again… They really enjoy doing it, so that’s really nice.”


This article was originally written by Lauren Collins from the Surrey Now-Leader