The Sources South Surrey and White Rock Food Bank is reminding residents that it doesn’t go door-to-door to solicit donations, after receiving reports of another “food bank” doing exactly that.
Sources manager Jaye Murray contacted Peace Arch News to say that the food bank has received several calls from residents, letting them know that they’ve had someone, who identified themselves as working for a food bank, at their front door asking for cash.
“As members of Food Banks Canada, we do not solicit door-to-door,” Murray said.
The group that has been canvassing South Surrey and White Rock neighbourhoods is an organization called Single Parent Foods Banks of BC Society, Murray said.
“This has been going on for years, and they’ve been doing it a couple times a year.”
The Single Parent Food Bank, which has a controversial past, performs door-to-door canvassing in the Lower Mainland and reportedly declines food donations, accepting only cash.
“If they come to the door and you say, ‘I’ve got some soup I can give you,’ they won’t take it,” Murray said. “They only want money.”
The solicitors also offer to write a receipt for the cash donation, however, it’s not a tax receipt as the organization is not a registered charity.
According to the organization’s website, it is a non-profit based out of Port Coquitlam that delivers food hampers to single parents in need.
In 2012, the man running the food bank was convicted of two counts of non-compliance with the Income Tax Act.
Mirek Kwasny, 50 at the time, was fine $2,000 in Abbotsford provincial court for failing to file a return. Five other counts of the same charge were stayed.
Kwasny previously operated the Maple Ridge-based Canadian Charity Assist Society, which had its charitable status revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency in 2008 for not meeting regulations of the Income Tax Act.
The food bank’s website features a 14-point section regarding “false information, misinformation & trolls on Social Media regarding Single Parent Food Bank.”
“In most cases people or reporters of News Media have reported information where for the most part the reporter never bothered to call us for clarification or get the facts staright (sic), in other words due diligence was not performed in regards to information posted 2014 and earlier,” the section reads.
The website adds that news stories prior to 2014 “have nothing to do with the current directors/volunteers that run SPFoodBank,” adding “Kwasny does however volunteer p/t because we value his experience.”
Single Parent Food Banks has not yet fulfilled a request for comment made by Peace Arch News.