We are grateful to have been selected as one of the designated charities at the 2017 North Shore Mayors’ Golf Tournament. Each year the North Shore Community Foundation and West Vancouver Community Foundation donate the first $50,000 raised to a worthwhile North Shore organization. This year, in honour of their 10th annual golf tournament, they selected two charities and donated $100,000! The $50,000 we received for our North Shore Distribution Centre will significantly increase our food redistribution capacity.
The Vancouver Airport Authority has renewed their partnership with Quest Food Exchange for the third year in a row! As Quest’s official transportation sponsor, YVR’s sponsorship is critical in providing for the transportation costs associated with operating Quest’s truck fleet.
YVR events in 2012, such as the Penny Drive and Christmas Hamper Food Drive, have helped build awareness for Quest, and provided employee participation opportunities for the entire YVR community. Thanks ever so much YVR!
A few weeks ago, I was asked by Dennis, a lecturer at UBC, to explain to his class a bit about what Quest does. I was honoured to be invited into their classroom. All of his students are part of the Global Academic Internship Program (GAIP) at UBC and are fairly new to Canada. This meant that they were also unfamiliar with some of the social issues that face Canadians. My challenge was to get across the importance of food security and poverty reduction initiatives, specifically in Vancouver.
I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive and engaged group of students. It was nice to see a group of people so inquisitive about the culture and issues of their new country. We even brainstormed ideas in which the students could help fundraise for Quest. We threw around ideas of food drives and monetary donation matching. I was just glad to have piqued their interest on social issues in Canada and perhaps make them think twice aboutfood waste.
This week, I was invited back to the GAIP classroom. The 16 students (pictured above) had raised $125 out of their own pockets, which was then matched by Dennis and Jennifer, Senior Program Leader at UBC, for a grand total of $250! I was so happy to receive the donation on behalf of Quest and so proud of them for taking the time to do this. Their donation will likely go toward paying for our new wheelchair ramp (pictured at right) at the Dundas location. This will facilitate access to our grocery market for our clients who have trouble with their mobility.
Thank you so much to Dennis and the students for their kind donation and for inviting me in to speak!
Visitors to the Surrey location of the Quest Food Exchange will have better choices in fresh produce thanks to a $10,000 donation from the First West Foundation that helped Quest purchase a used walk-in cooler and freezer. The addition of this amenity will allow Quest to collect and store more perishable items on site, so that donations last longer and our clients will benefit from having fresher items to choose from.
Johanne Larochelle, manager of the Surrey food market says “the walk-in cooler has allowed us to reduce the amount of perishable items we have to compost because fruits and vegetables can be stored in the cooler until the shelves need to be restocked. She also adds, “our customers have noticed the increased selection and comment on the freshness of the produce.”
Quest was pleased to have the opportunity to show representatives from the First West Foundation the walk-in cooler and freezer in August.
Executive Director, Seline Kutan makes a point of visiting the projects that the Foundation provides funding to. “Right now it’s manageable to visit our donees. It’s a great opportunity to see first hand where the Foundation’s money goes and to get to meet the individuals involved in running these successful organizations.”
Ms. Kutan was joined by board members Lois Wilkinson and Peter Podovinikoff who were both impressed by Quest’s food exchange model, which not only addresses reducing hunger with dignity, but also offers important volunteer opportunities while fostering environmental sustainability. “Quest fits perfectly within our funding mandate to provide much-needed support to community organizations that are working diligently to lend a helping hand to people living in our communities”, states Mr. Podovinikoff.
The First West Foundation (previously named Envision Credit Union Charitable Foundation) was established in 1996 by the management and Board of Directors of First West Credit Union. Its purpose is to support initiatives that enhance the quality of life in our communities and to create capital for sustainable community support by encouraging philanthropy. Since inception, the Foundation has proudly distributed over $1.6 million in grants to charities.