A Message from the Team
Spring has finally sprung, and we look forward to embracing the warmer months ahead.
In case you missed it, the Volunteer Engagement Team welcomed 141 new volunteers to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) at the end of March. Hosting our National Volunteer Appreciation events and celebrating volunteers across the organization was equally exciting! Volunteers gathered to socialize over delicious food, participate in trivia/raffle contests, and take fun photo booth pictures! Our dedicated staffing team also placed 246 personal thank-you calls to corporate, community, and school groups whose teams supported the GVFB in 2022.
It still rings true every time we say that volunteers are the heart of the GVFB.
Upcoming Program Changes
- Phone usage in the warehouse – The GVFB operates an active warehouse of machinery consisting of forklifts and electric pallet jacks. With our Community Agency Partners (CAPs) picking up their weekly food support and GVFB trucks loading/unloading their vehicles, it creates a bustling environment. To ensure the wellbeing and safety of our clients, volunteers, staff, and CAPs, phones must be put away while on the floor. This includes any time volunteers enter and leave the warehouse. Please only use your phones in our designated volunteer lounge.
- Warehouse and Program Pack availability – The GVFB has currently found itself in a position where we no longer need to rely on non-perishable donations from local grocery stores. While this is excellent news for our clients, who now receive more than 60% fresh food, it does mean we need to reduce our warehouse support shifts. Starting July 1st, the warehouse support role will be paused as we shift the focus to assembling our nutritious monthly program packs for our clients. The GVFB continues to monitor the warehouse’s operational needs and will adjust volunteer opportunities as needed.
Andrew “Andy” K. started volunteering at the GVFB in 2022 and has regularly supported the Burnaby Distribution site. His love for meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds has led him to the Parking Attendant Support role.
“[Distribution] feels like a collaborative effort. I refer to many full-time staff and volunteers as not just colleagues but friends,” shares Andy.
Parking Attendant Support volunteers play an important part in ensuring both vehicle and foot traffic operate safely during distribution. A typical shift involves setting up/taking down the stanchions, monitoring vehicle speed, designating disabled parking spots and directing clients.
“I always say to a new volunteer treat our clients as you want to be treated as possibly one day it could be us.”
Celebrating our Volunteer Community
Thanks to a handful of local vendors, we were able to raffle off a few incredible gifts! Their generous support contributed to the success of our events and was enjoyed by all 60 individuals who attended.
Please join us in recognizing these amazing community supporters!
Recognizing our Amazing Volunteers
Bradley M. started volunteering with the Operations department in 2020 and regularly supports the warehouse team. Last year he completed the most volunteer shifts – 157!
He ensures that quality produce, deli and dairy items are provided to clients and CAPs. He also palletizes monthly orders, trains new volunteers, and even monitors the warehouse’s recycling program.
After she began volunteering at the GVFB in 2020, Gillies quickly became a valuable member of the Development department. Last year, she donated the most volunteer hours – 684!
In addition to providing exceptional experiences for clients and donors through data entry and reception support, Gillies has also gone above and beyond to create receptionist guidelines and train staff and volunteers.