Our Mandate

Quest Food Exchanges’s mandate is to Reduce hunger with dignity, Build Community and Foster Sustainability.

Reduce hunger with dignity

Smiling young girl holding watermelon.
Reducing hunger with dignity.

Without the basic necessity of sufficient food, people face many avoidable difficulties. People with fixed low incomes weaken and become prone to disease. Children cannot learn productively. Single-parent families cannot escape the cycle of poverty. People living with restrictive health conditions and/or disabilities cannot heal and improve their lives. The homeless population is further put at risk.

Quest redirects quality  food from every branch of the local food industry that might otherwise go to waste. Food is then sorted, processed, and redistributed to organizations and people who need it most.

Currently, Quest helps to provide food assistance to individuals and families in the Lower Mainland through our Not-For-Profit Grocery Market program. The program can also be accessed via the following:

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Build Community

Volunteer displaying some lettuce at one of Quest's grocery markets.
Volunteer at one of our not-for-profit grocery markets.

Quest partners with an ever-increasing number of community resource partners  in their focused communities of the Lower Mainland and beyond. We help their clients access healthy, affordable food in a dignified manner, thus enabling our partners  to focus on their core development programs. Quest builds communities of like-minded individuals by working with community resource partners  such as:

  • Neighbourhood Houses
  • Hospices
  • Mental Health Organizations
  • Employment Training Programs
  • Seniors’ Centres
  • Shelters
  • Recovery Homes
  • HIV/AIDS Organizations
  • Schools and Daycare Centres
  • Food Banks
  • Churches

By taking care of the food needs of their clientele, Quest enables these agencies to focus their time, energy, and funding on their respective core strengths. This allows them to maximize the positive impact they can have on the needs of the community.

Ongoing projects give our volunteers access to on-the-job training programs in order to promote increased self-esteem, make empowering choices, and supplement their food sources. For some, Quest has been an opportunity to gain practical work experience to get back into the job market.

Foster Sustainability

Volunteer unpacking food at our distribution centre.
Volunteer unpacking food at our distribution centre.

By redistributing quality surplus food, Quest is not only feeding people, we are reducing the amount of loss and waste from various branches of the food supply chain. Allowing food to decompose in the landfill is harmful to the environment, as it releases greenhouse gas emissions such as methane. Not only that, we are losing precious resources that go into food production, such as water and energy, and missing out on vital nutrients and sustenance from the food itself.

Since its outset, Quest has always been environmentally-minded. Recycling has been of great importance to our success. In 2005, we collaborated with EcoAction Canada effectively reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and further reduced our waste by composting and recycling. Quest aims to reduce all food waste to zero. Through our “Zero Waste Project”, EcoAction Canada contributed to transform non-consumable solid food waste into livestock feed and compost for use by local farmers and community gardens.

We also distribute all non-organic materials such as food packaging to community services who have better use for certain items or are equipped with programs to safely process them, ultimately reducing landfill waste and harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Currently, Quest partners with Urban Impact, which helps small businesses implement effective recycling programs. Smithrite has also been integral in helping Quest to compost leftover food. As a result, we have received numerous awards for environmentally-sound business practices.