Staff writer / Burnaby Now

DECEMBER 11, 2019 12:47 PM


The food bank is in desperate need of volunteers in Burnaby.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society provides food support to more than 8,000 children, seniors, and people with disabilities in Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver and the North Shore through 13 community food hubs. In order to unload up to 15,000 pounds of food and to set up its “pop-up grocery stores” at neighbourhood houses, churches and community centres, the food bank relies on the generosity of up to 20 volunteers for a four-hour service for each site three weeks every month.

“Our weekly food hubs are not only a place for people to access food but they are places to build community and connect with resources like nurses, dieticians and tax help,” David Long, Greater Vancouver Food Bank CEO, said in a news release. “We’ve hit a critical gap in weekly volunteers for our food hubs and are appealing to the public for support to ensure we are able to deliver this important service to the communities we serve.”

According to the society, hub volunteers create a warm, dignified and welcoming environment where clients can select fresh and non-perishable items for themselves and their families and can connect with resources in their community.

“Making new friends and seeing old ones every week provides a stable, consistent place many rely on for breaking the cycle of social isolation,” said the society’s press release. “We are extremely grateful for these volunteers, but need more to continue offering this critical service.”

The Southside Community Church program (7135 Walker Ave.) operates in Burnaby. Other community food hubs in critical need of volunteers are the New West Community Food Hub (613 Queens Ave.) and the St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage Church location in Vancouver (1530 East 22nd Ave.)

“Each food hub is unique and caters to the diverse needs of their community with invaluable input from site hosts,” said the press release. “If you speak a second language, enjoy working with people or simply want to be a part of a team that cares about their community, this is the role for you.”

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank has a vision of providing accessible, healthy and sustainable food and proactively working to alleviate hunger in the communities it serves.

“Volunteering at the food bank has certainly become one of the highlights of my week,” said Alex, a volunteer at the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House Community Food Hub.

If you or anyone you know has a few hours to spare each week, or every other week, contact the food bank’s volunteer coordinator at [email protected] or 604-880-7073.