Quest Outreach Society exists to disrupt cycles of food insecurity through access to healthy and affordable food.
By bridging the gap between food banks and grocery stores, Quest provides a shopping experience for those in need based on principles of dignity, access and sustainability.
Quest has been operating since 1990, originally functioning as a soup kitchen to feed food-insecure individuals in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. In 1992, the program known as “The Quest” became incorporated as “Quest Outreach Society”. In 1995, Quest was serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to its clients six days a week, as well as operating children’s programs at six Vancouver Neighbourhood Houses, facilitating a daily outreach to street youth, running food drives, operating six other food depots in the Vancouver area, and providing deliveries of bulk food to 17 Lower Mainland Social Service Agencies. By 2004, thousands of people every month were being aided by Quest.
In 2006, the organization rebranded to “Quest Food Exchange”, adjusting its focus to not-for-profit store-front grocery markets. In the same year, the first Quest market was opened adjacent the organization’s distribution centre on Georgia Street. 2008 brought the opening of our Surrey market, and shortly after, a third market was opened in the Downtown East Side.
In 2009, a $1 million grant from VanCity, allowed Quest to close its Georgia Street location and purchase a building at 2020 Dundas Street, which today houses the main distribution centre, flagship not-for-profit grocery market, and administrative offices. 2013 marked the opening of our fourth grocery market, which serves Burnaby and New Westminster and in 2016, the fifth Quest market was opened in the Lonsdale area of North Vancouver.