Fair to say that Radwan Almuqdad and his son Adnan’s first trip to the Surrey Food Bank was bewildering.
The Syrian refugees have had a lot to adjust to since arriving in Canada three months ago.
Almuqdad’s family of eight is waiting for their child tax benefit which is expected to arrive at the end of the month.
“That is the only money that we are counting on to get food because the money that we got is barely enough for rent,” he said through a translator.
They are not alone in their efforts to make ends meet.
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“When you come to a different country you have to (start) from zero,” refugee Moutaz Almasre said.
The food banks in Surrey and Delta are feeling the surge in demand.
“Since early February we have seen an influx of Syrian refugees coming,” Surrey Food Bank’s Feezah Jaffer said. “So since early February, we h ave seen about 123 familes and 715 people.”
They are serving close to 16,000 people a month — 2,000 more than usual — but the increase isn’t solely due to Syrian refugees.
“We are seeing a bit of an increase in our numbers because food prices are so high. We are seeing at least 120 new families a month in addition to the influx of Syrians,” Jaffer said.
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The food bank says it needs volunteers to sort and distribute the food.
“Food is always welcome but money goes a longer way,” Jaffer said.
In time, the Almuqdad family are confident that they will be able to fend for themselves just as they did in Syria before their country erupted into war.
For now the food bank is a lifesaver.
Global BC is teaming up with CKNW to help raise donations for the Surrey Food Bank on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The public is welcome to stop by with a donation or donate anytime at 老域名购买surreyfoodbank老域名出售/donate.
– With files from Linda Aylesworth