Once again, an obscure organization has surfaced in this community, canvassing for food donations.
A note attached to an empty grocery bag has shown up on the doorsteps of local homes, requesting donations for the Fraser Valley Grocery Resource Society.
Be clear – this “Operation Clean Out Your Pantry” campaign is not associated with the Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) Food Bank, which feeds 3,000 every month in this city, and has been carrying out that good work for almost 30 years. The organization does hold a grocery bag campaign, but only once a year near Thanksgiving.
The letter from the Grocery Resource Society claims to “support local food banks.”
That’s news to ACS food bank co-ordinator Dave Murray, who only became aware of this group when a member of the public showed him one of the bags and notes, and asked if it was affiliated with his organization.
To repeat – it is not.
The president of the Fraser Valley Grocery Resource Society did not return The News’ phone calls or emails by press deadline.
While the group’s website says it works “hand in hand with other societies” to improve access to grocery items for seniors, students and low-income families, there is no indication of how this occurs. The website does not indicate a distribution centre.
This isn’t the first time Abbotsford and other communities have been targeted by questionable organizations collecting food for charity.
If you wish to help the bona fide local food bank feed people here in need, there is only one way to be sure your donations are going to the right place.
The Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank is located at 33914 Essendene Ave. Their phone number is 604-859-5749, and their website can be found at abbotsfordfoodbank.com
As for their work, it can literally be seen.