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Greater Vancouver Food Bank Builds Capacity as Need Grows

BC food banks are serving triple the number they used to as more people with full-time jobs need help and lower-income donors drop off. Your donation to GVFB can change a community.

Forget everything you think you know about who is using food banks and why. Although food banks are associated with feeding the most impoverished and vulnerable members of society, the demographics are changing. The past few years have seen an increase in employed clients who, after paying their bills, can’t make ends meet, including retired teachers and nurses, working parents and those on fixed incomes.

Last year, the GVFB gave out over nine million pounds of food to 16,000 monthly clients—up from 6,500 who visited each month in 2019. In March 2022, there were 1.5 million visits to food banks across Canada, the highest March on record. Complicating matters is a shift in donations as the food banks’ base of lower-income donors has eroded, and some have become food bank users themselves, leaving a smaller donor base to fund operations.

Building Capacity

The GVFB is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide healthy food to those in need. First established in 1983, the GVFB has grown to be a necessary resource for many Greater Vancouver citizens who find themselves facing hunger, unable to afford healthy, reliable sources of food.

Now, as BC’s largest food bank, its operations support clients weekly with healthy food (60–70% of the food distributed is fresh) in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore. Just over half of the food is distributed directly to clients at key distribution centres. The rest goes out to the 130+ agencies partnered with the GVFB, including women’s shelters, after-school programs, social housing programs and more.

The services provided by the GVFB are more than just a temporary solution; they are life-saving support for communities’ children, seniors and vulnerable adults.

Ways to Give

Giving to the food bank is a donation toward building a more resilient and sustainable community. The GVFB accepts online donations, encouraging individuals to become monthly donors to provide ongoing sustainability. One-time cash donations are also welcome, as are donations of publicly traded shares or securities—this can be a tax-smart way to support the GVFB. A legacy gift left in one’s will also has a tremendous impact, sometimes for years to come.

Business owners might consider a corporate donation or get the whole team involved with a virtual food drive (an online fundraiser), which inspires teams to raise money for the organization. From signature events to third-party community fundraisers, the GVFB will work with groups to support fundraising event ideas and initiatives of all kinds.

Learn more about GVFB and ways to support by visiting

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