A volunteer holding a big carton of food for one of the food banks in Vancouver. A volunteer holding a big carton of food for one of the food banks in Vancouver.

5 Food Banks in Vancouver- A Brief Overview

Did you know that St. Mary’s Food Bank was the first food bank founded in the US in 1967? Following that, a lot of food banks were established all over the world. Today, in this post, we shall educate our readers about food banks in Vancouver.

Food banks can be agency centers or groups of people who procure food from various sources and deliver it to people in need either for minimal charges or for free. Furthermore, you can easily procure food should you need it – there is no such eligibility factor unless specified by any food bank. You can be a student living paycheck to paycheck, a family that has run into financial trouble, or homeless.

These food banks are run and managed by non-profit charitable organizations and take help in the form of funds from authorities or individuals.

A List of Food Banks in Vancouver

There are numerous food banks in Vancouver, a few of which are listed below:

1. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)

The view of the greater Vancouver Food Bank Society building and two trucks parked on the side of the building.
Image from Shutterstock

The GVFB had its root in the year 1983. Initially, it was formed as a temporary hunger relief program, gradually becoming a permanent institution.

Today, it helps approximately 15,000 families all over  Vancouver. Moreover, it provides individuals and families with food items to meet their daily basic needs.

In addition, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank also helps around 141 Community Agency Partners who receive food help from it.

It has a schedule posted on its official website. Anyone in need can find locations to receive food supplies. Furthermore, they have their set up in multiple locations.

Location – 295 Terminal Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 4C1, Canada

2. Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Vancouver

This charitable organization was started a decade ago, in 2010. The intention was to bring the people of the community closer and uplift the needy. Muslim Food Bank manages to provide million number of meals annually to the needy.

Additionally, under their “Homeless Prevention Program,” they provide support services to an individual or family who is on the verge of being homeless. Also, they distribute warm clothes and blankets during the winter to help the underprivileged survive.

They have offices at various locations. You can reach them for an appointment through the number given on their website.

Location – 140 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1N4, Canada

A man in a black t-shirt holding a tomato soup can among the foods displayed on a table.
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash/ copyright 2020

3. Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen Society

This food bank in Vancouver was established in the year 2006. It has a group of like-minded individuals who want to make a positive impact on society. They serve neighbourhoods in Downtown Eastside Vancouver and other areas in the Lower Mainland.

Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen Society has a unique feature. Here, the volunteers themselves prepare food on weekends and provide it to those in need.

This Society has its kitchen where food is prepared hygienically. After which, the prepared lunch is bought for distribution in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. In addition, they also make sure to tidy up the place after food distribution.

Furthermore, they plan numerous events. On their website, you may discover information about these events. Also, they carry out other social activities like offering clothing, shelter, and emergency relief programmes.

Location – 245 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1P2, Canada

4. JFS The Kitchen

Jewish Family Services (JFS) was incorporated eight decades ago. They aim to provide a quality of life for individuals and families in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

In addition, they also provide many other social services along with food services to the members of society.

Every week, the JFS Grocery Programme distributes necessary groceries to the neighbourhood. Furthermore, people who are unable to pick them up might request to have them delivered. Also, they have kosher items available.

It does not offer any meats, poultry or shellfish.  JFS is currently serving around 900 people. Furthermore, it provides more than 12,000 kilograms of food every month.

Location – 54 E 3rd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 1C3, Canada

5. Quest Food Exchange

A person from the food bank community holding a big box of eatables in a grocery store.
Image from Shutterstock

This food exchange has been in operation since 1990. Initially, they were functioning as soup kitchens wherein they fed the poor people.

Later, in 2006, it rebranded itself by shifting its emphasis to non-profit grocery shops. Here, the underprivileged are offered a shopping experience by bridging the gap between regular grocery stores and food banks.

Most of the food items in Quest are supplied by local food partners from British Columbia. Furthermore, these items are then transported at a reduced cost to their client communities across five Lower Mainland markets.

Location – 167 1st St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2, Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find a Food Bank Near Me?

Firstly, identify the area you reside at. Secondly, you can find a food bank near you through Find a Food Bank, which is an online tool; you simply need to enter your postal code or address. Lastly, if you can’t find any food bank in your neighbourhood, you can visit anyone which is situated anywhere, and they shall guide you with the options available in your area.

How Can I Qualify to Receive Aid from Any Food Bank?

There are no such strict rules laid down on eligibility. Anyone in need can approach the food bank. However, there are few food banks that require you to be a citizen of the state. Additionally, there may be other such criteria laid down which need to be fulfilled to avail the services from these food banks.

Is There a Need to Submit Any Documents in the Food Banks? If Yes, What Are They?

If it is your first ever visit to a food bank, they ask you to fill out a form or an application. Furthermore, they also ask you to present your ID card and address proof. They might also ask you for personal information, which shall be kept confidential.

What Does Food Bank Provide You With?

Every food bank is distinct, and so are its services. There may be food banks that will provide you with groceries that will last up to a week, and then there are others who shall give you a ration of a complete month. Furthermore, there are also food banks that give you cooked meals to be consumed on the same day. Food banks not only provide you with food but also other essential items like shampoo, pads, diapers, etc.

Can I Get Baby Food from Food Banks?

Yes, you can get all baby essentials like baby food, purees, cereals, formula milk powders. You can also find diapers and baby wipes in these food banks.

What Cannot Be Donated to the Food Banks?

If you wish to donate to these food banks, you must know that they are very strict about the hygiene factor, And they check each product you donate. The following are a few examples of what you cannot donate:

  • Expired food items
  • Opened and leftover products

Additionally, there are few food banks that refuse to accept sweet treats like candies and chocolates or canned products simply because it does not fit into their nutritional category.

Demand for food banks grows

Do Your Part in Helping Others

Food banks have restored faith in mankind as they help the needy with basic means of livelihood. Furthermore, every financially secure individual has the moral responsibility to assist others who aren’t as blessed.

We hope that by sharing this article, we have helped individuals who are less fortunate learn about their alternatives and inspired others who are well-off to consider how they might contribute financially or via volunteering.

You can find many food banks in Vancouver – or contribute to them to help the less fortunate.

Last Updated on by Aditi Gautam


  • nazish

    Nazish is a member of ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India) and also double graduate in Commerce and Law. Currently a full time mother and a homemaker trying to mark a difference through the power of pen. She is a voracious reader and has passion for writing. She has positive outlook towards life. She enjoys travelling and discovering new places.

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