Saturday was moving day for the Aldergrove Food Bank.
Volunteers arrived early, and by the dozen – all wearing masks – they hauled rooms full of food and supplies to their new unit at Countryside Shopping centre.
Little did they know, an Aldergrove resident was going to pay them a surprise visit at 11 a.m.
Sunny Sharma, a realtor who owns several storefront units on the 27000-block of Fraser Highway and Alder Inn’s liquor store, brought the group a housewarming gift.
With him was Sukh Mahil – Sharma’s friend since he was 10 years old and current co-worker. The two grew up together in Abbotsford, but now both live locally.
Food bank managers Mary van Zuuk and Tannis Percival were elated to receive a $1,000 cheque from the pair.
“This will cover two month’s rent for us,” Percival exclaimed, through the sounds of boxes being carried and shelving units being set-up in their new digs.
“Knowing how [his] tenants are unable to pay rent right now,” Sharma explained that he wanted to make sure the non-profit was able to settle in successfully.
“I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps,” he added.
Sharma said his father Dave, landlord of the 27000-block of Fraser Highway storefronts, has specifically put money aside for a time such as this.
Admittedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the Sharmas’ tenants when it comes to covering the cost of rent this spring.
“My dad’s telling our tenants ‘I understand’,” not immediately pressuring them to take out loans or strain themselves otherwise in order to pay, the son said.
On Saturday, the Aldergrove Food Bank relocated from a hall at 27309 Fraser Hwy. – which is currently owned by the Janda Group of developers.
The building will be converted into a sales centre for the Aldergrove Town Centre redevelopment during May.