THE NORTH VANCOUVER QUEST IS READY TO SERVE!

SPREAD THE WORD: QUEST IS HERE!

20170130_122057
Find us at 167 East 1st Street.  The main entrance is via the laneway.  Tel: 604-566-0110. Operating hours: Monday-Saturday 9AM-4:15PM. 

Great news for our Quest Food Exchange clients and partners, our new Grocery Market location in North Vancouver opened on January 30th!

This is our fifth location and will provide a dignified shopping experience.  Like our other Not-For-Profit Grocery Markets, a variety of fresh, frozen, and non-perishables are available at a significantly reduced cost.

 

What a wrap! For less than $5, Quest offers organic tortillas, a pound of beans, 3 mangoes, 4 cucumbers, potatoes, lettuce, and green onions!
For less than $5, you can pick up organic tortillas, a pound of beans, 3 mangoes, 4 cucumbers, 4 bell peppers, potatoes, lettuce, and green onions!

 

Shopping clients:
Quest staff member, Kelly, assists Quest client Laura, as she picked up more than she may have bargained for!
Quest staff member, Kelly, assists Quest client, Laura, as she picked up more than what she may have bargained for!

If you are an individual or family member on income assistance, are underemployed, receiving a pension, or qualify as low-income, we are here to help. The process of becoming a Quest client is simple:

  1. Approach your caseworker, school counsellor, medical clinic, community resource, or one of Quest’s partnered agencies and ask them to complete a Client Referral Form on your behalf.
  2. You may then attend our market location, present identification and obtain your card, which is valid for three years. You may also shop at any of our grocery markets.

Not sure if you qualify or have any questions? Contact 604-602-0186 Ext: 109.

 

Community Resource Partners:
Sue Irwin and Catherine Janusz of 'the North Shore Community Resources Society' were on site to find what Quest has to offer. Mission accomplished! The NSCR partners with over 600 agencies in North Vancouver!
Sue Irwin and Christine Mann of ‘the North Shore Community Resources Society‘ were on site to find what Quest has to offer. Mission accomplished! The NSCR partners with over 600 agencies in North Vancouver and can assist you in obtaining a letter of referral !

Empower your clients with a dignified and affordable means of accessing food. Operating since 1989, Quest helps thousands of individuals each month in providing for themselves and their families across the lower mainland:

“Quest’s model allows dignified access to a variety of affordable, healthy foods to individuals facing food security challenges. Quest has successfully operated and grown in a number of other Lower Mainland communities for years. North Shore agencies have been referring clients to Quest in East Vancouver for several years now, and a centre on the North Shore makes good sense

     -Lynne Henshaw, North Shore Homelessness Taskforce. 

To schedule a tour or learn more about Quest, please email ssugrim@questoutreach.org or call  604-602-0186 Ext: 109

Donors, sponsors, and volunteers:

If you are a food provider or community development organization that is interested in supporting Quest, contact our Marketing Supervisor at 604-999-2247 and learn how we can help you to support the community and of the benefits to your organization. Your support means so much to many like Allison:

Get to Know a Volunteer – Amy Farahbakhsh

Quest is heavily indebted to the work of all of its volunteers. From 2012 to 2014, Amy Farahbakhsh – a master’s student at UBC focusing on the topic of food recovery – was one of our key volunteer contributors.

An Ontario transplant, Amy originally worked at the front desk doing everything from processing referrals to helping with the newsletter to training new volunteers. But over the course of her 24 months with Quest, she transitioned to working in the distribution center as a warehouse assistant where she helped with record-keeping, donor relations, and price look-ups.

“I will also always remember the nurturing volunteer environment at Quest, and that people of all abilities were welcomed and involved in some capacity. Quest provides such a positive environment, and it began to feel like my second home and second family,” said Amy, seen here at Quest reception.

Recently, Amy graciously took some time out of her extraordinarily busy schedule to share her thoughts on volunteering with Quest.

When asked what led to her involvement with our organization, Amy harkened back to her (presumably) halcyon days out east:

When I lived in London, Ontario, I remember hearing about Second Harvest, which is an organization based in Toronto. I really liked the idea of putting to use food that would otherwise be wasted, but was very disappointed that I could not volunteer at Second Harvest since I didn’t live in Toronto. When I moved to Vancouver and found out that Quest was a similar organization doing food recovery work, I started volunteering ASAP. … [The] goal of the organization, namely avoiding needless waste … drew me to volunteer.

And when questioned on the most rewarding part of her volunteer experience, Amy was quick to highlight the relationships she built with her coworkers:

[W]ork[ing] with the employees and other volunteers has been a highlight for me. I got to know a handful of regular volunteers and staff, who were all lovely people with a range of backgrounds and strengths. The staff that I had the pleasure of working with and learning from were awesome people and very gracious and welcoming. I will also always remember the nurturing volunteer environment at Quest, and that people of all abilities were welcomed and involved in some capacity. Quest provides such a positive environment, and it began to feel like my second home and second family.

In addition to helping with her master’s thesis, Amy also found that her volunteer work with Quest was a welcome respite from the rigors of academic life and allowed her to build skills that make her a more desirable employee. (Trifecta!)

I was really excited to volunteer at Quest because of its unique environment that was very different from the school environment. I really liked it because it gave me a way of learning more about, and contributing to cause that I believe in – reducing food waste. …
The diversity of roles and flexibility at Quest allowed me to build skills such as working with a range of people, dealing with different types of information, [and] managing difficult and stressful situations with clients … I really value the skills that I built through my volunteering at Quest – skills that complemented those that I gained in my program – and they continue to help me as I seek out jobs.

Sadly, Amy’s time with Quest has come to an end, but we’ll always be grateful for the invaluable contributions she provided! The time and effort of volunteers like her are integral to Quest fulfilling its mission.

Universtity of British Columbia Circle K International Members Volunteer at Quest

On two separate Saturdays recently, members of Circle K International at UBC took time out of their busy schedule to volunteer at Quest. Here is what two of them had to say about their experience:

On the morning of October 12th, 10 of the Circle K International members from UBC arrived early at Quest. The long bus ride left the volunteers excited to discover what the day had in store for us. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by Merle, one of the wittiest and friendliest volunteers.

We went straight into work – repackaging candy to be sold for Halloween season. We were all astounded to see the sheer quantity of food that would have gone to waste without Quest. The day went by fast, with productive volunteers and continuous happy conversations around the room. We ended the day with large cartons of wrapped goods and a group of proud faces.

The work itself was not taxing at all, but so crucial in the process of what Quest does as an organization. Looking back, the few hours we spent there really showed me how crucial volunteering is in the cycle of a non-profit organization. It is because of these volunteers who come to Quest daily, weekly and even monthly that they are able to sell affordable consumable goods to those in need. All of us were so grateful for being able to serve in an organization for the community. We are looking forward to our next session at the end of November, and will continue to spread the inspirational work and goals of Quest.

Finally, to all those who are reading this now, if my lack of articulation has not convinced you to spend a few hours of your time at Quest, then perhaps you should just give it a try and tell us how it goes! You are guaranteed to meet amazing volunteers like Merle, learn more about the local community, contribute to a great organization and have a much better perspective on reality.

I know I did.

Written by Cheng Yee Seah


I am back! Once again I was given the wonderful opportunity to help out at Quest food exchange. What started with a simple email turned into something that I look forward to doing every month. On November 30th along with two other students also from UBC Circle K International I headed down to 2020 Dundas steet.

Walking into the packaging room of the non-profit grocery market is always an exciting experience and full of surprises. It is unexpected what you will be doing that day, you don’t know if you would be cleaning up fish heads or repackaging bread. The first time we headed down we repackaged candy, this time we reorganized fruit bars.

The thought of packaging food may sound tedious and extremely boring and trust me, as a university student I 100% understand boring, but let me reassure you, volunteering at Quest is extremely refreshing and entertaining especially since you get the opportunity to work with other eager individuals. The work you do at Quest may appear minimal but is so beneficial on the grand scheme.  In the spirit of Christmas we sang Christmas carols and in a blink of an eye, the time was up and we had to leave. Volunteering at Quest is not a chore or agonizing instead I find it to be extremely relaxing and educational.

One of the main reasons I enjoy going to Quest Food exchange is the passion. Of course I enjoy volunteer work, and as a volunteer club at UBC, CKI is always looking for new opportunities to help out around the community, however Quest food exchange has the special twinkle. Maybe it is the spirit of Christmas and exam stress that is getting to my head, but I feel that Quest has a positive aura that appears to emphasize that everything will be all right and regardless of any situation, don’t give up.  The optimistic atmosphere at Quest is so inspirational and rejuvenating-no wonder I keep coming back!

Written by Flora Zhu

Thank you Circle K International UBC!

YVR Donates Another $50,000 to Quest

Go to YVR websiteThe 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!

Download the letter from YVR’s Anne Murray to Quest’s Executive Director.

My First Contact With Quest

Benjamin helped paint this large mural of the Burnaby Carousel, along with other artists at My Artist’s Corner which is an art-based program associated with CMHA Echo Burnaby, one of the over 400 social service agency partners of Quest.

Volunteer, Benjamin Kaye, shares his thoughts on Quest:

My first contact with Quest Food Exchange was when one of the community outreach speakers came to the CMHA Burnaby location to explain how the exchange works and invite us to join. The concept is simple and very powerful to those of us on a limited food budget.

Donated foods nearing the end of their shelf life are safely available at very reasonable prices in a shopping style store. We can choose the foods that we want and our food dollars go much farther. We are buying our own food, which promotes our self-respect.

There is also the opportunity to volunteer in a variety of ways to help keep the wheels turning: warehouse distribution, shelf stocking and office duties to name a few. Volunteering is a great way to help Quest operations, join in community participation and gain work experience.

For those of us who are currently unemployed, food is a large part of our budget, after housing. Quest is an incredible resource that helps us stretch our food dollar with a variety of wholesome foods. We are very fortunate to live in a society that is so bountiful in food resources. We are even more fortunate that there is an organization like Quest that is able to both provide food resources to those in need and at the same time save food that might otherwise end up being wasted and thrown away.

There is a strong need for a food exchange that empowers individuals in need to be able to stretch their food dollar and choose their foods in a shopping style environment. Kudos to the Quest Food Exchange for providing this much-needed access to affordable food!

Ben Kaye

 

Thank you Benjamin!