For three consecutive years (though technically four times, having spearheaded the initiative twice in one year!), Pavneet Kalsi, a dedicated student at The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, has been making a significant impact on the Surrey community through her annual initiative in benefit of families registered at the Surrey Food Bank. Pavneet, along with her partners and colleagues, has been orchestrating the collection and distribution of school supply packets, coupled with essential dental health supplies and dental health prevention information, during the food distribution sessions at the Surrey Food Bank.

Having volunteered at the Surrey Food Bank since 2013, Pavneet has had firsthand interactions with the community members, identifying a pressing need for school supplies among the clients. Recognizing the financial constraints faced by parents, she envisioned a way to relieve them of the burden of purchasing school essentials, allowing them to allocate their limited funds to other critical necessities for their children. 

According to a report stated by Statistics Canada last November 2023, food prices increased at a 5.4 percent pace over the past year, leading to a high cost of living for many families. Over the past three years, Pavneet has successfully secured grants totalling over $1500 each, enabling her to distribute approximately 100 school supply packages annually. Generous support from PDG, the Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics organization for dental supplies and funding from the Canada Rising Youth Grant have played pivotal roles in the success of the project. Envision Financial has also contributed to one of the editions of her volunteering day. Pavneet’s commitment to quality extends to the supplies themselves, as all items are purchased from Staples, the world’s largest chain of office stores, to ensure higher quality and longer-lasting goodies for the recipients.

The heartwarming expressions of gratitude from mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, and, most importantly, the children, fuel Pavneet’s passion for this initiative. Her dedication to making a positive impact on the community goes beyond distributing supplies; it’s about fostering smiles, hope, and a sense of community. Pavneet envisions a future where this initiative continues to grow, bringing even more smiles to the faces of children in need.

To support her cause, individuals can specify their donations for school supplies under the donate tab on the Surrey Food Bank website.

“Giving back to the community means being part of the change we want to see in the world. In the end of the day, we are all one seeking out to achieve some goals in benefit of the others and we inevitably impact our own lives”, Diego Oliveira, Events and Digital Communications Coordinator at the Surrey Food Bank asserted.

We extend our sincere thanks to Pavneet Kalsi. It is compassionate individuals like her who propel us toward our vision — a nourished and thriving community, free of poverty. Finally, we need to take a moment to give a shout out to Smile Plus Dentistry for providing all the dental supplies last event, and a heartfelt recognition to Staples Delta office supplies.

Show Your Support

To support this event and many other programs at The Surrey Food Bank, please, access: and make a difference in other’s lives during these uncertain days.If you are interested in volunteering like Pavneet, or if you have any other brilliant idea to contribute to the Surrey Food Bank alongside your group of friends, colleagues, or family, feel free to reach us at to learn more about how to apply as an individual for volunteer opportunities, and volunteering sessions for corporate groups.


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