We are here to help, with healthy food and a welcoming team
Who can use the GVFB
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank supports people struggling with food insecurity who live in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and on the North Shore. Food insecurity means that you cannot reliably afford to buy nutritious food for yourself and those in your household. This can range from often having to buy low-cost/low-nutrition foods as the only option, or simply not being able to afford groceries at all because the bank account is empty. Food is often last on the list after critical, ongoing costs such as housing, utilities, and clothing are taken care of; we are here to help!
Steps to become a GVFB client
Bring the following documents to your registration appointment
- Government-issued picture identification (all adults age 18+ need to attend the appointment)
- One piece of a recent (within 3 months) proof of address (such as a telephone or utility bill) in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster or the North Shore
- Care cards or any government-issued ID for all of the dependants living with you (both adults and children)
If you are an existing client, please bring your GVFB Client Card with you when you visit one of our locations.
If you come to one of our food distribution locations as a new client with an ID for yourself only, you will receive food on your first visit. Once any dependent family members are registered, you may pick up food for them.
You can now pick up food once a week
After successful registration, you will receive a GVFB client card. You may visit any one of our distribution locations once a week following our schedule. Any person registered on your account may pick up food for people on the same account; please bring your GVFB client card with you each time you pick up food.If you cannot pick up food due to a medical reason, please speak to our staff in person or call 604.876.3601 to request a Permission To Pick Up Form.
Each week, the GVFB distributes 10-14 fresh, non-perishable or frozen food items. The amount of food you receive depends on the number of people in your household. Children from birth to 12 years old and seniors 65 years old and older will receive a monthly specialized pack.
We provide a safe, welcoming and respectful environment, and ask for the same consideration from our clients in their interactions with our staff and volunteers. We believe everyone has the right to:
Your privacy is important to us. Photos and videos are not allowed at sites without GVFB approval, and consent from clients and volunteers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) is a non-profit organization on a mission to provide healthy food to those in need. Since 1983, we have been distributing food at multiple food distribution locations. We also provide food to 141 Community Agencies that prepare much-needed neighbourhood hot meal and snack programs. The GVFB is a registered charity and relies on donations from the public and grants to fund our operations. With the COVID-19 pandemic, provincial and federal governments have announced funding to help food banks across BC and Canada continue providing essential food support to those in need.
We understand that making the decision to come to a Food Bank can be a difficult one. You’re not alone. The GVFB serves 15,000 clients every month, of all ages and walks of life.
Our staff and volunteers work to create a positive, safe, and welcoming environment for our clients. You can expect to be welcomed, treated with patience, understanding, dignity and respect. You can expect a safe physical and emotional space.
You can find a detailed schedule at any of our current food distribution locations at: https://foodbank.bc.ca/find-food/locations/
The GVFB provides food support to 141 Community Agency Partners that offer hot meals, snacks, and hamper programs. Here is a list of the agencies you can visit. Please call them directly to learn more about accessing their food programs.
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank offers 10 – 14 grocery items every week and sometimes more depending on the extra perishable donations we have at the time. The amount of food you receive is based on the number of people in your household. We offer three children’s programs each month: Baby Steps (Age 0 – 2), Preschooler Packs (Age 2 – 5), and the Grade Schooler program (Age 6 – 12). We also offer a Seniors’ Program, which caters to the needs of our clients’ ages 65+.
We provide a variety of foods spanning all of the food groups, from dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) to meats and proteins (eggs, canned fish and poultry and some fresh meats), to canned stews, beans and vegetables, pasta and sauces, and a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables each week.
Once a month, we also provide the following additional items for children and seniors:
- Birth – 2 years —> Baby Steps (formula, baby food, cereal, diapers)
- 2 – 5 years —> Preschooler Packs (high protein, high iron foods to support brain and muscle development)
- 6 – 12 years —> Grade Schooler Packs (Mixture of perishable and non-perishable items designed for our 6 – 12-year-old clients)
- 65+ —> Seniors’ Program (low in sodium, high in lean protein, and easy to eat)
Most of the food we provide requires cooking, but we also provide food to 141 Community Agency Partners that provide groceries and prepare ready-to-eat meals and snacks across the cities we serve. Here is a list of Community Agency Partners you can reach out.
There are several options:
- A friend can pick up your food for you, just ask us for a Permission to Pick Up form.
- You can also contact us and we will help provide you with information about where you may find food support while you are at home.
- You can also call bc2-1-1 which is a free, confidential, multilingual service that can connect you to resources including food delivery options, and it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- You can contact us by telephone at 604-876-3601 or by email at [email protected]
Please know you will receive food on your first visit to any of our locations.
If you are an existing client, please bring your client card (if you have lost it, we can print a new one. Just bring a piece of government-issued photo ID).
To register as a new client, please bring with you a piece of government-issued photo ID, proof of address (such as a telephone or utility bill), and care cards for all of the dependents living with you.
We are here to help, with healthy food and a welcoming team.
If you need more help, please let us know and we will provide you with information about additional food support agencies in your area. We have this information at all of our food distribution locations, including our main office.
You can contact us by telephone at 604-876-3601 or by email at [email protected]
Due to the volume of clients we serve through direct distribution and our pre-planned menu approach, we cannot accommodate dietary restrictions by offering substitutions. If you are offered an item you cannot eat, we encourage you to decline and only take the items that meet your dietary needs.