Meet the Team!
With 2023 right around the corner, this marks the first few months of our new Volunteer Engagement team in action! Hailey Pinker and Lisa Bui have been working hard behind the scenes to further develop and enhance our overall volunteer experience across the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB). Recently, you may have noticed them making their rounds to say hello!
Before officially wrapping up the 2022 calendar year, we’d like to take a special moment and thank our extraordinary volunteers who continue to show up year-round, day in and day out. Your gift of giving does not go unnoticed!
Distributing Across a Diverse Community
With the generous support from our volunteers, the GVFB provides two types of distribution: direct to clients (approximately 14,000 people per month) and food support to 118 Community Agency Partners (CAPs). In turn, those CAPs make hot meals, provide snacks and hampers along with other food services for thousands of people each week.
Our CAPs are community organizations that operate within our catchment areas: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore. They include after-school programs, First Nations centers, post-secondary programs, housing agencies, neighborhood houses and many other services.
Simon Fraser University is one of the several post-secondary institutions we support on a weekly basis. Their newly created food program, called the Food Pantry, supplies fresh food and pantry staples for students in need once a week at their Burnaby campus.
The GVFB is one of their sole food providers, offering a variety of staples, proteins, snacks, hygiene products, and fresh produce for their students to enjoy.
We know from conversations with them that these students have not experienced the wealth and abundance of food that most Canadians are lucky to access. And all of them express pure grace and gratitude for the gift of food. Some come by just to connect – they take very little, but always say hi,” shares Tara, founder of SFU’s Food Pantry.
A variety of students from all walks of life access their services, including single parents, refugee students, international students, and students affected by war, poverty, violence, isolation, and many others.
24 new CAPs are joining the GVFB in January 2023.
“I have felt appreciated in whatever role I have been in”.
Carole has volunteered with the GVFB since 2020. Over the last two years, Carole has completed four different roles: Warehouse Support, Agency Restocking, Agency Distribution, and Distribution.
“Volunteering at multiple sites gives you an opportunity to meet more great people, try different roles and it also offers more choices for full and part-time shifts,” shares Carole.
As we operate year-round, each department must work on a different schedule to meet their unique needs.
For instance, direct distribution closes once a month for Warehouse Week. However, the GVFB Warehouse and Agency team remains open during this time to continue processing donations and distributing food for CAPs.
“I realize the value that volunteering brings to both the organization and the volunteer, and I have been lucky enough to be able to schedule my volunteering into my work week.”
Accomplishments and Celebrations
This past November, we celebrated 12 volunteers who donated over 1000+ hours of their valuable time to the GVFB. These individuals continue to show up no matter rain or shine and are an integral part of the GVFB family!
Did you know with all volunteer hours combined, it makes up a total of 31 full-time employees?
Additionally, through collaboration with Sysco Canada in honour of their Purpose Month (a month dedicated to connecting the world through sharing food and caring for one another), 280 complimentary lunches were provided to volunteers as a special thank you!
The Sysco team also generously volunteered their time to help our GVFB operations.
We’re proud to share that as of November 4th, 2022, the GVFB reached full capacity for volunteers. With tremendous support and interest from the community, we’ve been able to fill all our volunteer roles for 2022.
We hope to resume registration in the new year for 2023, which will be dependent on operational needs. Thank you for your patience and understanding!