A Stepping Stone to a Brighter Future

Jaymee: Food Bank Client Jaymee’s dream is to become a paramedic. For a while now, her number one priority has been looking after her two children. She’s been holding off going back to school until her children were a bit older and ready for daycare. The first step towards Jaymee’s goal of becoming a paramedic is to take a course with a hefty price tag of $1,600. Once that’s finished, she’ll be in school full-time for six months and then in a practicum where she’s on call 24 hours a day.

Visiting the Food Bank means that Jaymee doesn’t have to skimp on food for her kids. The Food Bank also gives her a place to make connections and build community. “I had this picture in my head before I went, that it would be an alley with a couple of tables set up outside,” she says. “But it’s in a church. The people who are there, they are just regular people. There’s nothing scary about it. The food isn’t any different than what I would buy in the grocery store.

Burnaby Warehouse Update: Increased Capacity Meeting Increased Need!

Burnaby Warehouse Earlier this year, thanks to your immense generosity, we moved into our new, bigger warehouse and office space in Burnaby. The new space has 400% more refrigeration and freezing capacity! The increased capacity allows us to keep more perishable food fresh for longer. And that means more healthy food options for the thousands of hungry people who visit the Food Bank. “Some people still have this outdated view of the food banks of 20 years ago, with people getting a box of Kraft Dinner,” says David Long, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Instead, we offer fresh meat, fish and cheese, a wide variety of fruits and veggies, and a selection of frozen foods.

The increased refrigeration and freezer capacity also means we can take advantage of partnerships with grocery stores like Costco and Loblaws, which donate items such as frozen lasagna or other healthy entrees. We’ve seen a steady increase in people who need the Food Bank over the last year — about 20% more people are coming in to see us.

That means this new warehouse space couldn’t have come at a better time. The new Burnaby facility also has improved community spaces, with computers that clients can use for job searches and sending emails. There’s also an extensive kitchen, where we share knowledge with clients about how to prepare healthy meals through our workshops.

Thank you for helping us better serve hungry, vulnerable people in your community!

Spirit Way: Guiding Women and Children through Violence

Spirit Way team Your compassionate gifts help provide food to programs like Spirit Way, a 14-unit residential program offering a safe place for indigenous women and children who have suffered domestic violence. “Sometimes there’s more month than there is payday,” points out Spirit Way program coordinator Patricia Dobrik. She continues, “Food is at the center of everything we do. It’s our culture.”

Last year, with your help, the Food Bank provided 11,379 pounds of food to Spirit Way, allowing them to provide food to 13 mums and 23 children for six days a week. An essential aspect of Spirit Way’s holistic approach promotes healing in a supportive environment. Cooking together is a natural fit.

“The best things happen when you are cooking together as a community. Healing, telling stories,” enthuses Patricia. “You want to empower them (the mums) and … allow them to embrace their story… Cooking is one of the ways we can encourage this to happen.” Thanks to your generosity, families at Spirit Way have access to essential proteins like peanut butter, canned fish and eggs, as well as fresh produce. Plus, with the money saved not having to buy food, Spirit Way was recently able to hire two youth mentors.

Thank you for helping improve the lives of women and children recovering from domestic violence!

Annie: Leaving a Legacy of Caring

Annie: Legacy Donor Annie Goodwyne recently chose to include the Food Bank in her will. “One of the reasons I want to leave a gift to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in my will is that I firmly believe no one should ever go hungry,” she says. “I’m not materially wealthy, but it feels good knowing I can leave a bit of a legacy to help people.”

Annie had been thinking about this for a while but wasn’t sure where to start. “I learned that I could get my will made up at no cost when donating to a charity through the Free Wills Network,” says Annie. “Working with the Free Wills Network was an easy step to take. If you don’t have a will and want to donate to a charity, I recommend this course of action.”

If you’d like more information about leaving a gift in your will, please get in touch with Greg Douglas our Director of Development at 604-314-6980 or [email protected].

Jan: Giving Back as a Volunteer

Jan: Giving Back Jan wasn’t sure she’d be able to volunteer at the Food Bank. “Prior to retiring, I worked as a nurse. And you do shift work, so you cannot really make a commitment to do anything on a volunteer basis. But here there are so many different things that you can do, and you can kind of pick and choose and work your own lifestyle around volunteering at the Food Bank.”

“Prior to retiring, I worked as a nurse. And you do shift work, so you cannot really make a commitment to do anything on a volunteer basis. But here there are so many different things that you can do, and you can kind of pick and choose and work your own lifestyle around volunteering at the Food Bank.”

Jan volunteers in a community food hub in her neighbourhood, helping food bank clients pick up food, as well as helping out in the warehouse and head office. Her nursing background in mental health and addictions has been a real help. “When we get some of the people who are not emotionally stable it really helps because I can see where they’re coming from.”

Thank you to Jan and all of our amazing Food Bank volunteers.

Canadian Free Wills Network

Food Bank supporters, aged 55 or over, can have their Will written or updated free of charge. It’s simple—here’s how:

  • Let us know you’re interested in the program.
  • You’ll receive a package with a list of participating lawyers in your area and the terms and conditions of the program and confidential declaration form.
  • You select a lawyer and arrange for an appointment.

There’s no obligation for you to include a gift to any charity in your will — although we’d be thrilled for you to include us! Confidential contact: Greater Vancouver Food Bank Greg Douglas [email protected] | 604-314-6980

Recipe: Easy Vegetarian Chili

Easy vegetarian chili