Why Canada Drives Supports the Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s Fight Against Hunger
Holiday season or not, nobody should go hungry.
Hunger is an unfortunate symptom of poverty affecting thousands of families in the economically prosperous province of British Columbia, and food banks across BC are feeling the strain of a worsening problem. And while the holiday season is the busiest time of year for most food banks, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank has been a shining light and a helping hand for people all year round.
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) is not a government agency and relies solely on community, industry, and individual support to provide assistance to over 28,000 people in need of food support every week. Twenty-five percent of the people they help are children and youths, while thirty-five percent are seniors.
Set up in 1983, the GVFB has cultivated relationships with BC farmers, suppliers, and wholesalers; relationships that significantly boost the charity’s buying power compared to the average consumer. For every dollar donated, $3 worth of food can be purchased. It means a donation of $20,000 can buy $60,000 worth of wholesome, quality food for people in need.
Food is shared directly with GVFB clients through 13 Community Food Hubs in the Greater Vancouver Area in addition to over 70 Community Agency partners including women’s shelters, supportive housing centres, and school meal programs to name a few. The Food Bank distributed 4.7 million pounds of food in 2018-2019 alone.
The GVFB recently established its new head office in Burnaby with a 400% increase cold storage capacity, allowing them to receive, store, and distribute more fresh produce, meat, eggs, and milk.
“We prefer to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables because of their high nutritional value,” said Greg. “Any time someone visits the Food Bank, there is always a choice of four to six fresh vegetables available.”
Canada Drives gets behind a worthy cause
Photo: Canada Drives presents a cheque for $24,700 to Greg Douglas and Jodie Ou of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
Proving that there’s a lot of heart behind those headsets, the various departments of Canada Drives came together to raise $24,700 for the GVFB.
In December 2018, the fintech company was proud to raise $10,000. But the bar was raised in 2019 with the announcement that the company would try to double last year’s donation—it did not fall on deaf ears. Within hours, the goal of $20,000 was achieved with money continuing to trickle in before the final deadline.
On December 12th, Director of Development Greg Douglas and Community Events Coordinator Jodie Ou of the GVFB arrived at Canada Drives’ downtown office to receive the donation. They were greeted by Office Manager Karina Plazola who presented them with a cheque that will help buy quality, fresh food and support a multitude of community agencies and food distribution programs.
“No one has raised that much money so quickly through any of our fundraising initiatives,” said Greg. “Canada Drives has been a great partner to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and, in only two years, has risen to be one of our more significant contributors. This donation will significantly impact lives and help many people through a difficult time.”
And there’s more work to do...
While monetary donations are extremely important in helping combat hunger, one major challenge facing the organization right now is the lack of volunteers.
Greg explained that currently there is a shortage of volunteers which puts additional strains on Food Hub operations: “There just aren’t enough volunteers available during the day. We welcome anyone that is able to volunteer at a FoodHub between 8:00 am and 12:30 pm. Or if you’re looking for a great team-building opportunity, you could sign up for a team food sort at our warehouse days, evenings and Saturdays.”
Anyone reading this and wishing to volunteer their time or organize a powerful team-building activity can do so by getting in contact with GVFB Volunteer Coordinator, Rebecca at [email protected] or visit the website.
Posted by Canada Drives