Harby Bhandal is hosting a Nov. 5 food drive in Maple Ridge for the Friends in Need Food Bank. (Harby Bhandal Facebook/Special to The News)

Harby Bhandal is hosting a Nov. 5 food drive in Maple Ridge for the Friends in Need Food Bank. (Harby Bhandal Facebook/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge realtor hosts food drive in Albion

The Nov. 5 fundraiser will take place at Kanaka Creek Coffee

Albion residents will soon be able to help out people in need while getting a cup of coffee thanks to the Nov. 5 food drive hosted by local realtor Harby Bhandal and other volunteers in the community.

This fundraiser for the Friends in Need Food Bank is set to take place at Kanaka Creek Coffee, located at 24155 102 Ave., and is a cause that Bhandal has a very personal connection to.

“Growing up in Maple Ridge as a student, I myself would go all day eating one meal a day mainly because of the difficulties my family was going through, and it was all we could afford during 2008,” said Bhandal.

“Affording groceries was getting tough. I remember going through high school and during lunch time having my stomach growl like crazy while watching other kids have meals, and it wasn’t just myself like that.”

Although the days of going hungry are long behind him now, Bhandal hasn’t forgotten that others are not as fortunate and depend on the local food bank in order to survive.

READ MORE: Food bank usage across Canada hit all-time high, nearly 1.5M visits in March

“The food bank is where a family can go to get help during hard times, but the problem is the food bank doesn’t have enough to provide to all the families,” said Bhandal. “Which is why I wanted to do this food drive. As a member of my community, it isn’t just the government’s job to help when times are tough. We don’t want to just raise awareness, but take actions towards helping our neighbours.”

This is the first year Bhandal and the local volunteers have done something like this, but they hope it’s the start of something much bigger.

“This will be an annual event, and with more volunteers we may do this twice a year in Albion,” he said. “I also hope we can get other sub-communities in Maple Ridge involved in the future.”

RELATED: Spooky Maple Ridge home provides scares for charity

With a goal of collecting 300 items for the food bank, Bhandal is asking residents of Maple Ridge to bring kid snacks, canned fruit and vegetables, canned meat and fish, Kraft Dinner, Sidekicks, juice boxes, fruit cups, and whatever other non-perishable items they can spare.

The food drive will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5 from noon to 2 p.m. More information can be found by emailing Bhandal at harbyrealty@gmail.com.

RELATED: Maple Ridge neighbours team up to collect Halloween donations


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