The Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s (GVFB) supply is at an all-time low and the organization is in desperate need of donations.
“It is not uncommon for our shelves to thin out by the end of summer… but we have never seen it so literally bare,” Ariela Friedmann, the GVFB’s communications director, tells Daily Hive. “It’s (at) a critical point right now.”
The GVFB sees the majority of donations pour in from Thanksgiving to Christmas time. But their supplies have dwindled down dramatically. “Hunger is 365 days a year,” Friedmann said.
Healthy and nutritious donations needed
To compensate for the shortage, the GVFB is spending $150,000 in donations to keep shelves in stock.
The important thing to remember about the GVFB is it aims to give people enough to food to make a whole meal.
“We always make sure that the food we distribute is healthy and nutritious (and is) a variety of food that can make a meal,” Friedmann said. “So, for example, we don’t give out a box of chocolate, a candy bar, and a box of pasta.”
The GVFB currently has deals with local farmers and fishermen to supply fresh ingredients, but Friedmann says they are looking for non-perishable goods such as canned beans, canned fruit in natural juices, and canned vegetables.
“We do not need chocolate, candy, and sugary soft drinks,” said Friedmann.
Unfortunately, people often think they are helping by donating that old tin of icing or box of cookies, but the Friedmann stresses the importance of making sure the items people bring in can be used to make something healthy.
26,500 people a week
The GVRB feeds approximately 26,500 people per week.
“To put it in perspective, 26,500 people is Rogers Arena filled up one and a half times. It’s a lot of people being helped every week,” said Friedmann.
Most people depending on the GVFB are families with young children and seniors.
“Sometimes people skip meals because they have to pay the heating bill or electricity bill,” Friedmann says. “That’s where we can step in and help people.”
For more information about how you can get involved with the GVFB or donate, please visit their website.