The BC SPCA in Surrey is the proud recipient of a newly donated shed for food bank storage, thanks to grade 11 student, Aditi Kini.
Kini received a $3000 grant through the Rising Youth program, an organization that supports community-driven initiatives. The only requirement of the grant was that the funds be allocated in a creative way to support people affected by COVID-19. Staff, along with Kini, decided that the money would best be used towards the purchase of a shed for food bank storage.
“Aditi is an incredibly motivated young student and it was so wonderful and touching to hear she chose the Surrey BC SPCA as her non-profit of choice due to her love of animals and her connection to her own pet,” says Taizo Ellis, interim branch manager with the BC SPCA Surrey Education and Adoption Centre. “It is an absolutely incredible donation that we normally would never have the means or resources to be able to procure for ourselves, and Aditi’s generosity will have an on-going positive effect on not just the Surrey branch, but all the animals across the region that we support with our program.”
According to Ellis, without adequate safe food storage, the location was limited in how much food they were able to provide to the many pet guardians they help to support through various community partnerships. Currently, the location regularly donates food to local organizations including Cloverdale Community Kitchen, Langley Food Bank, and Surrey Food Bank.
Since the pandemic hit in the spring, the Surrey BC SPCA has “dramatically increased” the amount of food donated to those in need, which includes over 1,821 kilograms of dry dog and cat food, and 2,300 cans of pet food.
Which is why the biggest impact of the shed, says Ellis, will have is on the location’s ability to properly organize their extensive food bank inventory.
“Currently, our food bank is just half of our education center, and it has been taken over by hundreds of kilos of food, treats, toys. The shed will allow us to keep everything organized and out of the main public access areas of the shelter, and allow for a much safer, distanced distribution.”
While the weather proved uncooperative for a couple weeks, with a lot of teamwork and spirit, the shed was eventually assembled by dedicated BC SPCA volunteers in December.
“Much like the COVID-19 pandemic, things we thought would be easy were a little more difficult than anticipated,” says long-time volunteer Lynda Napoli who helped construct it. “So, you plan the best you can, face what is before you and figure it out. Each of us doing a small part can make such a difference. I am so glad to be able to help such an organization and vulnerable animals. We all gain by giving of ourselves.”
Individual seeking assistance can make an appointment to pick up food for their pets by emailing the BC SPCA in Surrey at firstname.lastname@example.org . No-contact pick-ups can be scheduled daily, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Surrey SPCA at 16748 50th Avenue.