17
Oct

Strict Food Bank Policies Leaving Less Fortunate Hungry

A man missed his chance to re-register at the Surrey Food Bank by 10 minutes and — five days later — he’s still hungry.

Residents who receive assistance from the food bank are required to re-register every six months, and while the non-profit is open weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., re-registering is only available until 11 a.m.

That created a problem for Trevor Bereck, who lives in Guildford and spends weekday mornings volunteering in Newton.

Bereck was injured in a car accident, is currently living on disability and struggling to find work. He went to the Surrey Food Bank Oct. 10 at roughly 11:10 a.m. hoping to re-register and also receive food, but was turned away — and he says he’s not the only one.

Registration policies at the Surrey Food Bank leave residents in need hungry, says Trevor Bereck. Patrick Colvin, 24 Hours

“Everyday, if you have someone sitting there at 11 a.m., you’ll see people get turned away,” said Bereck. “I feel really bad for people who are in need, who are at the bottom of life right now, being refused after making an effort to come and get the little bit of food that they can from the food bank.”

Bereck described the staff at the non-profit as “rude.”

Marilyn Herrmann, executive director of the Surrey Food Bank, refused to discuss Bereck’s complaint at length.

“I don’t think this has any newsworthy story … We’re delighted to work with people the best we can you know. But, many people who come to us claim something that they’re unable to do, but they really could do. It’s just an inability for whatever reason, so I really don’t have any comment on this,” Herrmann said with a laugh.

“If this gentleman would like to call me personally, I’ll work with him and see what I can offer for him.”

Bereck, who was refused service on Oct. 10, had to wait until the food bank opened again on Oct. 14 to re-register, but he missed the 11 a.m. deadline for the second time. He’s hoping to make it in time Thursday, and join the 14,000 people who receive assistance from the Surrey Food Bank every month.

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