Getting Equipment and Food

Equipment and Food are key components of a community kitchen that are based on your kitchen’s needs, experience and budget.

What You Will Need:

  • When starting and maintaining a community kitchen, you will need a list of equipment and quantities. Check out our Equipment List  for these purposes.
  • Don’t forget to acquire cross-cultural cooking tools and equipment where appropriate.

Where to Get It:

Our Equipment Room: 

  • Our Equipment Room at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank has lots of new and donated items for community kitchen use.
  • Please make your own arrangements for pick up as we are not able to deliver equipment to community kitchens.
  • Contact us first to ensure that our current inventory can assist you, and to arrange a visit.

Plan an Equipment Drive:

  • Consider an equipment drive at your host organization asking for gently-used kitchen equipment. Or ask a local business to host!
  • Create posters to advertise an equipment drive in your neighbourhood or community.
  • Tips for creating an equipment drive.

Purchase New Equipment

  • To get an idea of new equipment costs, refer to our Equipment Pricing Inventory.
  • Talk to the people who work in kitchen equipment stores. Tell them about your community kitchen and how you’ll be using their equipment and/or supplies. Ask them for a discount – you just may get one!
  • Read How to Prevent Missing Kitchen Equipment for ideas to make sure your new equipment doesn’t ‘grows legs’ or go missing.

Getting Food:

Buying food from grocery stores can be costly.  You can save money on food by asking for in-kind food support from the following sources:

Your Local Food Bank

  • Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society: For those of you with community kitchens in Vancouver, North Shore, New Westminster and Burnaby, the GVFB may be able to supply food support to your kitchen if you meet certain criteria.  Contact Jeanne Lefebvre at

    [email protected] for an Expression of Interest form.

  • Food Banks Canada: Many food banks across British Columbia support community kitchens by way of food donations. Contact your local food bank to find out their policies and procedures.

Grocery Stores

  • Ask your local grocery store if they would kindly consider donating groceries.
  • Modify our Sponsor Letter Template to request in-kind food support.

Other Possibilities

  • Contact your local community garden or fruit-tree project for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Explore other food initiatives that may be in your community such as Good Food Box Programs, Food Buying Clubs, Pocket Markets, Farmers Markets (see the directory at the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, Nutrition Coupon Projects or u-pick farms. These are all ways to acquire quality foods at a good price. Your community centre, local community newspaper or community nutritionist (at your local health unit) may know if these initiatives exist in your community.