Giving Tuesday: 6 organizations that are feeding low-income residents of Vancouver

If you have some money to spare, they'll appreciate your support

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      Giving Tuesday, a.k.a. the National Day of Giving, is upon us today (November 30). In the midst of the devastating rainstorms and flooding, there is no shortage of worthwhile causes across B.C.

      Below, you can read about six Metro Vancouver organizations that are helping to feed the hungry. If you click the headlines below, it will take you straight to where you can make a donation.

      A Loving Spoonful

      Giving Tuesday happens to come just one day before World AIDS Day (December 1) in 2021. A Loving Spoonful has been one of Vancouver's foremost AIDS charities, delivering frozen food and groceries to primarily homebound HIV-positive people in Vancouver since 1989.

      Each year, approximately 100,000 meals are distributed each year to local residents with chronic diseases, including those facing multiple physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

      "Our mission is to make sure that no one living with AIDS lives with hunger," the society states on its website. "Achieving our mission requires the loving, coordinated effort of a community of volunteers, staff, donors and supporters."

      In 2014, A Loving Spoonful's executive director, Lisa Martella, told Breakfast Television what the organization does.

      AMS Food Bank

      It's really expensive going to university and for some students, it's really tough to keep food on the table. According to the AMS Food Bank, food insecurity is an issue at various times for more than 40 percent of students.

      There's no registration process for members of the campus community who need food on an emergency basis. Recipients, whether students or staff, simply have to show valid UBC identification.

      Video: The AMS Food Bank provides food to students and staff without asking questions of the recipients.

      Food Stash Foundation

      Teacher David Schein created this organization in 2016 after seeing the documentary  Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. A year later, it became a registered charity with volunteers sorting and boxing food for nine families. 

      Based in Vancouver Food Stash Foundation now rescues more than 30,000 kilograms of food per month, redistributing it to more than 30 charities and 100 members. It's calling on donors to pledge not to waste food for a week or longer.

      Best of 604 created this video about Food Stash Foundation in 2017.
      Best of 604

      Vancouver Food Runners

      Founded by Tristan Jagger, this organization has a straightforward vision: zero waste, zero hunger. "Our aim is to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream—where it will negatively harm our environment—and instead redirect it to nonprofits in Vancouver that work with the most vulnerable members of our community," it states on its webpage. "We believe good food belongs to people, not landfills!"

      The Vancouver Food Runners Society aims to meet this goal through an app, which was developed by 412 Rescue in Pittsburgh. This app matches donors to nonprofit partners. Then volunteers come out to "rescue" this food before it's tossed away.

      "From the businesses that generously donate their surplus food, to the dedicated volunteer drivers that provide the transportation, to the community partners who help us distribute the food to those in need, our food recovery program is a true community effort."

      Video: Learn more about food-rescue technology.

      Union Gospel Mission

      One of Vancouver's best-known charities, the Union Gospel Mission was founded in 1940 by Bob Stacey at 10 Powell Street. About 60 people would show up for hot meals each night, thanks to the efforts of volunteers from local churches.

      Nowadays, the organization serves more than 320,000 meals each year at eight Lower Mainland locations. Every Christmas, it dishes up more than 3,500 Christmas meals.

      Video: Union Gospel Mission strives to form connections in the community to help people on the road to recovery.

      Greater Vancouver Food Bank

      On Friday (December 3), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will hold its annual B.C. Food Bank Day, which has been a tremendously successful fundraiser ever since it was founded by producer Anne Penman 35 years ago.

      The first Food Bank Day raised $462 through a single program. Last year, it generated a whopping $2.33 million. 

      This has become a major source of funding for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and similar organizations in other communities. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank's mission is to provide healthy food to those in need—and it does this to about 9,000 people each month in several Metro Vancouver communities.

      One-quarter of those it helped last year were children; another 17 percent were seniors.

      "We have three specialized nutrition programs for children from birth to 12 years old, as well as one just for seniors," it states on its website. "From 2020 to 2021, 482 babies from birth to 2 years old received our Baby Steps Program, 1,068 children from 2 to 5 years old received our Preschooler Program and 1,768 children from 6 to 12 years old received our Grade Schooler Program."