Specialized Nutrition Programs: Baby Steps, Preschooler Packs, Grade Schooler Packs, and Seniors’ Program

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank offers 10 – 15 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. The menu of food available changes weekly, and includes a selection of fruits, vegetables, bread, yogurt, canned beans, soups and stews, canned fish and chicken, pasta, sauces, canned fruits, rice, and peanut butter. Milk and eggs are available once per month. We offer three Children’s Programs each month: Baby Steps (Age 0 – 2), Preschooler Packs (Age 2 – 5), and Grade Schooler Packs (Age 6 – 12). Our newest specialized nutrition pack, the Seniors’ Program, caters to the needs of our senior clients ages 65+.

 

Once a month (week 1) we provide:

  • Formula, baby food, baby snacks and cereal for babies from birth to 12-months-old
  • Eggs, cereal, milk, cheese, and fruits for babies from 13 to 24-months-old
  • Diapers for children up to 36-months-old

 

Once a month (week 2) we provide:

  • Highly nutritious, age-appropriate food for 2 – 5-year-olds that is high in iron and protein to promote brain and muscle development. Ingredients include fish, chicken and turkey, whole grain cereals, wraps and breads, cheese, hemp hearts, oranges and more!

 

Grade Schooler Pack

Once a month (week 3) we provide:

  • A healthy mix of proteins, grains, dairy and fresh produce for our 6 – 12-year-old clients including cereals, eggs, milk, yogurt, canned fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, Annie’s macaroni and cheese, cucumbers and tzatziki, snap peas and hummus, avocadoes and more!

Once a month (week 3) we provide:

  • A healthy mix of age-appropriate food for 65+ year-olds that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Our menu includes lean proteins, whole-grain bread, cheese, nutrition shakes, bok choy, bananas, and more! 

 

Respect Policy:

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:

  • Be treated with patience, understanding, dignity and respect
  • Be treated equally
  • A safe physical and emotional space

Your privacy is important to us. Photos and videos are not allowed at sites without GVFB approval, and consent from clients and volunteers.

 

1. What is the Greater Vancouver Food Bank?

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 more than 90 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.

2. I’ve never had to rely on the Food Bank before. I’m nervous about going – what can I expect?

We understand that making the decision to come to a Food Bank can be a difficult one. You’re not alone. The GVFB serves 8,500 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 will also find that we have incorporated physical distancing and other health and safety practices at our locations to keep you, our staff and volunteers as safe as possible during the COVID-19 crisis. You can expect a safe physical and emotional space.

3. Where and when can I get food?

You can find a detailed schedule at any of our current food distribution locations at: https://foodbank.bc.ca/find-food/locations/

4. What if I can’t get to one of the GVFB’s locations?

The GVFB provides food support to more than 90 Community Agency Partners that offer hot meals and snacks. Here is a list of the agencies you can visit to access their food programs.

5. How much food can I access through the GVFB?

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank offers 10 – 15 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 also offer three children’s programs each month: Baby Steps (Age 0 – 2), Preschooler Packs (Age 3 – 5), and the Grade Schooler program (Age 6 – 12).

6. What kind of food is available?

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:

  • 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)

Most of the food we provide requires cooking, but we also provide food to more than 90 community agencies that prepare ready-to-eat meals and snacks across the cities we serve. We can provide you with a list of the agencies in your neighbourhood.

7. I’m concerned about being in public places during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is the Food Bank a safe place?

We are following the guidance of the health authorities and taking all the precautionary measures to provide a safe and healthy environment for you and for staff and volunteers, so we can continue to provide our services without interruption. We have large food distribution centres to help us all practice physical distancing of 2 metres from each other, while continuing to provide food to our current and growing number of new clients.

If you feel unwell or are in isolation, we ask you to please stay away from Food Bank locations. Anyone who displays symptoms of cold, flu or COVID-19 will not be permitted into any of our centres. These measures protect you and others.

8. How can I get food if I’m unwell and staying at home?

There are several options:

  • A friend can pick up your food for you, just ask us how to set that up.
  • 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]

9. What do I need to bring with me to receive food?

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).

To register as a new client, please bring with you picture identification, proof of address (such as a telephone or utility bill), and care cards for all of the dependants living with you.

We are here to help, with healthy food and a welcoming team.

10. I need more food support. What can I do?

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.