During this past weekend’s windstorm, the Surrey Food Bank lost power for five days, and in the process lost 10,000 pounds worth of food.
Surrey Food Bank director Marilyn Herrmann spoke on CKNW’s Drex Live and says the food bank’s power was out for so long because of a miscommunication.
“Our power went out on Saturday. On Monday we came in, we were supposed to have power at noon that day… didn’t happen,” said Herrmann. “Came in Tuesday morning, very very excited because we had a new power pole up outside, but we were not hooked up.”
Herrmann says she didn’t realize until Tuesday night that it was their responsibility to hook up the power from the new pole to their building.
She says she didn’t learn this until the City of Surrey told her to call BC Hydro.
“And I started to hear things [from BC Hydro], like ‘Well you put the power pole up, it’s your responsibility…’ and I said, ‘We didn’t put the power pole up, you put the power pole up! We don’t have money to put a power pole up on city land!’ And apparently it’s something called a very complicated repair.”
Herrmann says the Food Bank lost $3,000 dollars worth of milk and eggs they had purchased using their own money. They also had to throw out 10,000 pounds of perishable food.
“We’re the largest food recovery organization this side of the Fraser River…so perishables are very very important to us.”
Herrmann says at this puts a huge strain on people who are already clients of theirs, who may have lost food they got from the food bank because of the power outage.
“We had a dad come in Friday who used to be a client of ours year ago, he went grocery shopping on Friday for two weeks… and everything was gone after Saturday.”
Herrmann says that at this point any donations help, but cautions people shouldn’t drop off perishable food items until at least Friday afternoon, when their fridges are cold enough to handle food again.