Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society


Global BC - Recovery Program Keeps Food Out of Landfill

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 10:30pm

Global BC's Tanya Beja Rides Along with Community Angel Food Runners Program:

Global BC - Cooking Lessons for Downtown Eastside Residents

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 6:00pm

Global BC's Tanya Beja visits the Downtown Eastside Community Kitchen Project and learns what's cooking:

GVFBS Partners with Westside Mobile Food Market to Help Seniors

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 2:00pm

“Market On Wheels” Rolls Out for the First Time to Help Seniors Stranded in Food Deserts

If the people can’t come to the food, then the food must come to the people!

That’s the concept behind the Westside Mobile Food Market : to bring fresh food to people who need it. From July 15 until the end of September, this not-for-profit market on wheels — the first of its kind to service the Westside — will stop at community gathering places and deliver fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables to seniors who would have a hard time accessing fresh produce otherwise.

It’s a little known fact that Vancouver's Westside is home to "food deserts” — zones with few or no grocery stores or produce stands. Some neighbourhoods on the Westside don’t have a single grocery store within its limits.

Due to mobility issues, and a limited budget, seniors and other vulnerable people are having a hard time accessing fresh food — like Westside senior resident Marcia Eleccion.

“The next grocery store within my budget is far away,” she says. “If my arthritis flames up and I am feeling achy on a day I need to go shopping, I have to pop painkillers to be able to actually go.”

To meet Marcia, learn more about food insecurity on the Westside and the mobile food market, please watch this video.

To kick off the mobile market’s first season, the “The Plenty Campaign” (in support of the Westside Mobile  Market) will raise awareness for Westside seniors experiencing food insecurity. The public will be invited to show their support by signing a community pledge — online or at Vancouver Farmers’ Markets and various other community events.

To learn more about The Plenty Campaign visit .

Kitsilano Marketplace IGA Shines for Community Angel Food Runners Program

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 7:00am

Kitsilano Marketplace IGA owners John and Joanna Gendron donate food from their store to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank every Thursday

By: Martha Perkins - WE Vancouver

Every Thursday, a truck from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank pulls up to the loading dock at the Kitsilano Marketplace IGA. When it pulls away, it will be filled with food that will be distributed to dozens of community food kitchens.
By that night, some of it will be dinner for people who find it hard to make a paycheque stretch far enough to include a healthy meal. Some of the food has been donated by store owners John and Joanne Gendron.  Every day they go through the store looking for food products that are three days away from their best-before date.
They pull those items from the shelves and, depending on the time of the week, either freeze them or put them aside for the Thursday pick up.  As well, whenever a customer at the store purchases an IGA brand product with a loyalty card, a percentage of the sale is set aside.
The Gendrons let that build for a year and then give the money to the food bank which, in turn, buys custom-sized frozen hamburger packages from the IGA. Last year it amounted to $5,000 worth of fresh or frozen food and $7,600 for the purchase of hamburger.
“You should always be giving back,” says John Gendron, noting that they also support local churches’ and schools’ food programs with donations of bananas and yogurt. “You should be thankful that people are shopping at your store because they have the choice to go elsewhere.”
In the grand scheme of things — each week the GVFB helps feed 25,000 people — such donations might seem small but that’s not how the food bank views them. “It truly doesn’t take much to have a significant impact,” says Kay Thody, the food bank’s communications director.
The Gendrons are part of a network of 429 food businesses, including restaurants, Rogers Arena, and other grocery stores that take part in the Community Angels Food Runner program.
Last year, through everyone’s combined efforts, the program diverted 870,000 pounds of food which otherwise would be wasted. That food, which was distributed to 25 community kitchens provided 108,000 meals every month.
“From our perspective,” says the program’s manager Will Shields, “that’s anything but small.”

*photo credit: Rob Newell

Landlords & Tenants Team Up & Donate 5,645 Pounds of Food for Seven BC Food Banks

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 12:00pm
Media Advisory – Landlords & Tenants Collect and Donate 5,645 Pounds of Food for Seven BC Food Banks
WHAT:      First Annual Spring HOPE Food Drive Wrap Up
WHEN:      2:00 PM, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2013
WHERE:   Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society Warehouse, 1150 Raymur Avenue, Vancouver
  • 2:00 pm – Launch announcement
  • 2:15 pm – Photo opportunity
BC Apartment Owners and Managers Association (BCAOMA)
  • Board Director Bill Goold (Bill Goold Realty)
  • Executive Director Valerie MacLean 
Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society
  • CEO Aart Schuurman Hess
  • Director of Development Jim Bindon
Rental Housing Council (RHC)
  • President & CEO Amy Spencer
UBC Volunteers
WHY:   The Spring Housing Owners & People Everywhere (HOPE) Food Drive was successful in collecting 5,645 pounds of food for families in need across British Columbia, with donations still coming in from across the province.
The first of its kind in BC, this food drive saw dozens of landlords, property managers, community volunteers and tenants work together in 175 apartment buildings throughout Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo to collect food for BC families.
“The rental housing industry is primarily family run. It has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to participate in our first province-wide food drive alongside my son,” says one of the food drive organizers Bill Goold, Realtor and BC Apartment Owners and Managers Association (BCAOMA) Director.
This unique opportunity allowed access to multi-family buildings, which are typically not included in food drives. It was led by a partnership between BCAOMA, the Rental Owners and Managers Society of BC (ROMS BC) and various food banks including the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (GVFBS).
The Spring HOPE Food Drive originally started eleven years ago in Ontario, where it is the largest door-to-door food drive in the country.
Proceeds of the food drive have been donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Mustard Seed Food Bank (Victoria), Loaves and Fishes Food Bank (Nanaimo), Surrey Food Bank, South Delta Food Bank, Share Community Food Bank and White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank.
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For further information:
Amy Spencer, President & CEO, Rental Housing Council, 604-307-5853 or
Kay Thody, Communications Director, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, 604.813.3776 or