Newsletter June 2018
It’s been another growth-filled quarter for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. We have been very successful in the first half of 2018, whether it’s food education, community events, surplus food processing, transition of another depot into a Community Food Hub (at the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House), or updates to our processes and improvements to our member experiences.
Thank you to our generous donors, who have continued to keep the Greater Vancouver Food Bank on pace for its most productive year on record. We cannot thank our donors enough for the continued support you have given us for the first half of 2018. Your generosity with your time, food and monetary donations goes a long way and we appreciate every ounce of it. It does not go unnoticed.
As you read along in this letter, you will learn more about the return of one of our exciting events, CANstruction Vancouver, as well as our innovative work in deliciously re-purposing surplus foods thanks to several corporate partners, and the return of our Curbside Fresh Market this summer, which strives to improve food access in food deserts in our city.
In these endeavours, you will clearly see us building and growing in a direction that ensures the GVFB delivers on its vision of accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all.
You can always follow us and keep up to date on all the things happening in our organization by visiting our social media pages [@VanFoodBank], or visit our website to see upcoming events and recent news!
Once again, Thank You so much for your support!
Aart Schuurman Hess
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Empty Shelves & Your Support
Spring is here, quickly becoming summer, and our shelves in the warehouse have lost the weight of non-perishable food gathered in the 2017 Holiday Season. This is the slowest time of the year for donations, but this year it is more significant. The GVFB depends on both food and monetary donations to provide the quality, nutritious and balanced food choices for our members. While monetary donations primarily go to purchasing perishable foods such as fresh and local produce and eggs, the GVFB will also use these funds to buy the non-perishable staples such as canned meat and vegetables when necessary. But it is the food drives and individual donations of non-perishable foods that really fill the shelves in the warehouse.
We also feel the need for food more in the summer time because children who participate in school meal and snack programs are out of school and at home. Parents now have to stretch their food resources further and depend even more on the support of the Food Bank.
Please, make a food or financial donation today to help us make sure that kids and families get the food they need!
To donate food, please drop off food items at a grocery store in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, North and West Vancouver or deliver directly to our warehouse at 1150 Raymur Ave. Vancouver. Go big and host a food drive with friends, family or co-workers. (Please, though, no door to door solicitation!)
Our 5 Most Wanted items are:
- Canned black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans
- Canned fish
- Canned chicken and turkey
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Brown Rice
Our Top Ten Most Needed:
- Canned chicken or turkey
- Canned fish
- Canned black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans
- Dried lentils*
- Peanut Butter
- Brown Rice, Barley or Oats*
- Whole Wheat Pasta or Couscous*
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Hearty Stew or Chili
* in original & sealed packages
Return of CANstruction Vancouver 2018!
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is proud to announce the return of CANstruction Vancouver, running from November 3rd to 11th, 2018 at Lougheed Town Centre. CANstruction is an international structure modelling and building competition that uses nutritious, canned food as construction material. Since CANstruction’s introduction to Vancouver in 2002 by the Kallas Family from Met Fine Printers, the event has raised over 1.3 million cans of food!
If you’re curious about some of the most creative structures created in the past, teams have built a life sized Pac-Man, the Cookie Monster, a grizzly bear, and many more. We encourage you to look at more pictures from past CANstruction Vancouver events, by visiting facebook.com/canstructionvan.
Are you interested in fielding a team for CANstruction Vancouver 2018? It’s one of the most fun and impactful team building exercises you can host!
Participating teams will design structures over a three-month period and build their designs in 12 hours at Lougheed Town Centre on build day, Saturday November 3rd. Afterwards, structures will remain on display as art exhibits for one week, where the public can vote for their favourite structure.
Teams can improve their planning strategies, teamwork and communications skills as they work to complete building their structure in the allotted time. Teams that make the most competitive structures will also have the opportunity to win prizes at the ACANemy Awards in categories such as Structural Integrity, Best Original Design and People’s Choice. Teams of ten people are encouraged to apply, including schools, universities, corporate offices, and community groups.
Goodly Foods Unveiling and Partnership with Walmart Foundation and Walmart Canada
As you may have already heard, in April, the GVFB unveiled Goodly Foods, a food-focused social enterprise that takes surplus foods that still have nutritional value, but are no longer suitable for store display (and could otherwise go to waste), and turns them delicious soups, sauces and stews. Additionally, the program provides unique job training and employment opportunities for people in the community who have challenges finding traditional employment experience.
Initially Goodly Foods products will be provided to our members at community food hubs, distribution centres and through our community agency partners. The hope is that eventually, we will be able to sell these items on store shelves, with the proceeds going directly back to support the work done by the GVFB. Our target is to have Goodly Foods products in distribution to our members later this year.
Goodly Foods was a pilot program unveiled publicly in the Fall of 2017 that we were able to unveil into a new brand thanks to the support of some phenomenal partners like Commissary Connect, Fulmer Capital, Potluck Café Society, and several more.
Furthermore, in April we announced that The Walmart Foundation generously donated more than $1.1 Million CAD to the GVFB and Goodly Foods in order to help accelerate the growth of the program. In the 35 year history of the GVFB, this is our organization’s largest ever single donation and we could not be more grateful!
If you’re interested in learning more about Goodly Foods, we encourage you to visit “www.hellogoodly.ca.
Curbside Fresh Market Back this summer
Have you heard of Curbside Fresh Market? If not, we think you’ll be thoroughly impressed and inspired to pay a visit
Curbside Fresh Market is an innovation of the GVFB that sells selected, locally grown, fresh produce in low-income areas and “food deserts” (areas with limited access to affordable, nutritious food) in Vancouver at affordable prices. Curbside Fresh Market distributes over 860,000 lbs of fresh produce during peak seasons (Foodology, 2017).
By travelling to new sites in our catchment areas, we are able to support more people, and hopefully introduce some affordable fruits and vegetables into the diets of individuals and families in our cities, while fostering a sense of community amongst those who might not be members of the GVFB, but who have trouble with accessing nutritious foods.
And, thanks to a generous donation from Whole Foods Market, we are able to expand our reach, purchase more foods, and introduce new, healthy foods into the diets of thousands of more individuals!
Curbside Fresh Market will sell this food at 5 different locations in Greater Vancouver and we encourage you to visit your closest CFM, to pick up some apples, nectarines, radishes, carrots, strawberries and more! Stay tuned to the < href=”” target=”_blank”>@VanFoodBank social media channels and our website for updates on the CFM including their confirmed locations!