Organization Spotlight: Greater Vancouver Food Bank

GVFBAt DP World Vancouver, we are dedicated to improving the lives of those who live and work in our community. We do this not only through our own social responsibility initiatives but by promoting organizations that are making progressive philanthropic strides. We believe that when more organizations do their part to build and sustain a vibrant community—whether through volunteering, donations, or other means—everyone benefits.

There are many wonderful nonprofit and charitable organizations in the Vancouver area. In today’s post, we are spotlighting the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

The Organization

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) provides assistance to community members in need of an emergency food supplement. The organization started in 1982 and serves more than 26,000 people each week, distributing more than 4 million pounds of food every year.

GVFB has 13 food depots throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and the North Shore. Individuals and families who are experiencing limited access to food can visit these sites and receive a one- to two-day supply of groceries at no cost. The transition to a Community Food Hub is designed to provide access to fresh and nutritious food and other community resources through a welcoming, dignified and member-focused experience.

The GVFB understands that hunger isn’t an isolated challenge, and works to implement programmes that focus on building food skills and other food-related topics.

GVFB receives donations from individuals, corporate retailers and wholesalers. It also partners with restaurants, hotels, caterers and retailers to pick up and distribute prepared meals and other food that may otherwise go to waste, providing a helpful alternative for members who don’t have access to cooking facilities.

The Mission

Since 1982, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank has grown tremendously and is working to transform its model for a more sustainable future. The goal is to move beyond distributing only emergency food supplements. Its mission is to create empowering environments that provide and promote access to healthy food, education and training.

Food insecurity is a complex issue. It affects people of all ages and is influenced by a wide range of related challenges—everything from a lack of mobility to health complications. GVFB recognizes this and is committed to ensuring its model of food access is built to address these issues by providing greater community resources.

In order to sustain these resources, the GVFB relies heavily on corporate donations and partnerships. For example, Canstruction Vancouver recently ran the Who’s Hungry campaign, a competition to build complex sculptures out of canned food. This internationally recognized organization and the competition provides the single biggest donation of food that GVFB receives each year.

Other fundraising initiatives include the REEL Thanksgiving Challenge, where film and television productions across British Columbia compete against each other to raise the most funds in support of the food bank.

Community resources and support are crucial to sustaining and growing the Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s mission.

How Your Business Can Help

There are several ways your business can get involved and contribute to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank:

  • Now, more than ever, the GFVB is focused on raising dollars. Thanks to its excellent partners and growers within the region, it is now able to leverage $1 to purchase $3 worth of healthy, locally-sourced food. So, financial donations are always welcome.
  • Food donations can be collected and dropped off at the GVFB’s warehouse located at 1150 Raymur Avenue in Vancouver.
  • Businesses can organize a team of employees to volunteer at the GVFB warehouse to sort donated food items for 3-4 hours each month or a few times a year. It’s a great way for businesses to give back—not to mention it’s a fantastic team-building exercise!
  • The GVFB has many community fundraising and food drive events year-round and volunteers are critical to their success.

Learn more about events and all the great things the Greater Vancouver Food Bank is doing within the community by visiting their website at foodbank.bc.ca or following them on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information on how to get involved, whether it’s by making a donation or volunteering, click here.

You may also contact Sue Kennedy directly at suek@foodbank.bc.ca for any questions you have on how to get started!