Member Ozzie Crompton has been leading our Food Bank Gift Card Program for 4 years now, working with Safeway to encourage members and their friends and families to purchase Safeway Gift Cards through Semiahmoo Rotary so that we can collect the 8% commission and forward that on to the SOURCES Food Bank in South Surrey.
New member John Block says that one of the main reasons he joined our Club this year is that he thought this program was a brilliant way to help our neighbours, and, his father had been a long-time ardent supporter of the Food Bank and he wanted to carry on that tradition of support after his father passed away. 
Together, Ozzie and John have researched the need for Food Bank support and spent time at the Food Bank learning how things operate (John learned how to sort the many varieties of beans!). They then went to Save On Foods and convinced them of the need to match their Gift Card program so as to allow us to cover a wider geographic service area and preferences for shopping. Read on for more information ...
As Ozzie and John reported, approximately 15% of South Surrey/White Rock residents (14,000 people) are struggling to make ends meet every month. Currently, there are 1,500 people registered with the Food Bank.
There are about 4,000 seniors in our community that live on less than $19,000.00 a year.  Many in our community work at part time jobs that pay little more than minimum wage which is presently $10.45 an hour which equates to an annual income of $20,000.00.
25% of people that rely on our Food Bank have disabilities. Government support is very limited.  For example, a disabled person with no dependents receives about $11,000 annually. A mother with 2 children receives $16,000 per year.
About 21% of people relying on our Food Bank report no income. These people might be working odd jobs for cash, or might be waiting for their initial social assistance cheques, which often takes 2 to 3 months after they apply for it.  Some have just lost their jobs and are waiting for unemployment benefits.
15% of food bank clients are on Social Assistance.  Benefits for a single person without dependents is $8,000.00 annually,  a single parent with 2 children receives about $17,000 annually.
Given the rising costs of housing and food, the number of people needing the support of our Food Bank will increase.  Unfortunately, donations have dropped about 12% this last year.
Our club can make a real difference in the lives of many people in need.  I love the fact we don't have to ask people for money, all we have to do is encourage people to do their grocery shopping at Save On or Safeway. Our Gift Card Program will roll out over the summer and ramp up this Fall. Stay tuned for more information and easy ways to support the Food Bank while doing your grocery shopping without paying anything extra.