Mary Robson, executive director of The Friends In Need Food Bank, wants to make it clear that the food bank does not solicit door-to-door donations and to beware of people soliciting donations in their name. (THE NEWS/files)

Food bank in Maple Ridge puts out warning about fraudsters

The Friends In Need Food bank has already had two complaints about man soliciting in their name

Tis the season when people open their wallets for community charities.

However, the Friends In Need Food Bank is warning the public about people who prey on the goodness of others.

The food bank has received two calls so far about someone going door-to-door asking for donations for Friends in Need.

Executive director Mary Robson wants to make it clear that the food bank does not solicit donations door-to-door.

The first warning came through the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. Someone complained a young man, in his mid-30s or 40s, came to her door without any identification and said he was there collecting on behalf of the Friends In Need Food Bank.

Lorraine Bates, chief organizer at the Christmas Hamper Society, called Robson to give her a heads-up.

The second warning came from a downtown resident, near 222nd Street.

The resident said a man buzzed her suite in one of the apartment buildings and said he was collecting specifically for the Friends In Need Food Bank.

Complaints like this are normal at this time of the year, said Robson.

“Usually there are just maybe four or five that maybe call us and let us know. But there could be more,” she added.

“We have Coldwell Banker who do their thing, where they go to neighbourhoods and they do accept donations. But they don’t solicit for the donations.”

Robson said that the realtors will leave a notice saying that they are there and will pick up non-perishable food donations left outside the residence on a certain day. Their campaign is done the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday every December and has already wrapped up.

The Make-A-Wish foundation of British Columbia and Yukon Canada has also issued an alert.

In an online warning about fraud, the organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions says it has received numerous phone calls where concerned citizens have warned that someone has come to their door soliciting donations in their name.

The foundation has been getting complaints from people in Maple Ridge lately.

“As a matter of policy, Make-A-Wish does not solicit funds through chain letters, telemarketing or door-to-door fundraising campaigns,” said the online notice.

If people receive these types of solicitation, contact its Canada office at 1-888-822-9474 or email nationaloffice@makeawish.ca.

Anyone wanting to donate to the Friends In Need Food Bank can donate in the bins located at the front of every major grocery store in the community.

Donations are also accepted at the food bank, 22726 Dewdney Trunk Rd. in Maple Ridge, between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday to Friday, where cash and non-perishable food donations are accepted.

In Pitt Meadows, the food bank is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 12240 Harris Rd. or donations can be made online through the website at friendsneedfood.com or through canadahelps.org.

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