6. Greater Vancouver Food Bank: Community Agency Partner Food Allocation System


Project Title

GVFB Community Agency Partner (CAP) Food Allocation System

Organization Name

Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)


Related Course Concepts

Food justice, Food security, Asset based community development, Social class/income inequality, Gender and/or sexual orientation, Cultural identities, Racism, Colonialism

Organization Information

Organization Name

Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)

Mission and Vision of Organization


Building strong, connected communities through the power of food.


Accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all

Guiding Principles + Values

Accountability, Collaboration, Justice, Respect, and Trust

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Nicole Campbell; Jeanne Lefebvre
  • Email: NicoleC@foodbank.bc.ca, JeanneL@foodbank.bc.ca
  • Phone: 604-612-9718; 604-876-3601 ext. 360
  • Address: 8345 Winston Street, Burnaby BC
  • Website: https://foodbank.bc.ca/

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email, Phone
  • Best day(s) to contact:Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 8am - 3pm
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Project Description

Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank was set up as a temporary relief to the hunger crisis in 1983 and has grown significantly in the three decades since then. We are fortunate to have been able to build many relationships over this period that we greatly respect and honour. Today the GVFB provides assistance to over 28,000 people weekly, 25% of our clients are children and youth, 35% are seniors.

Through our Community Agency Partner Program, the GVFB provides food support, training workshops, and other supports to over 75 Community Agency Partners (CAPs) across Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and North Vancouver. These Agencies address the underlying barriers contributing to food insecurity and provide a variety of services in our community including housing, seniors programs, mental health support, and youth outreach. Feedback from CAPs has underlined the importance of food as a means of creating connection and trust with each Agency’s community. Each CAP may run one or multiple food programs that range from small snacks at drop-in programs to participatory community kitchens. Thus, different CAPs require different food quantities and types, and GVFB is looking to update our CAP food allocation system to reflect current CAP needs.

There is currently a wait list to become a partnered GVFB CAP. We are working through this list and will be onboarding new CAPs in 2020. As such, we are looking to update our CAP food allocation system, using an asset-based approach to ensure up-to-date, fair, and equitable support for new and existing CAPs. To this end, staff will be administering a survey in early 2020 to better understand our CAPs' unique contexts, and identify factors that will inform our food allocation system update.

Once the survey is complete, we will need LFS350 students to assist with:

  • Scrubbing and analyzing data
  • Inputting data into an allocation equation so that all CAPs can be categorized accurately
  • Create a report to update our internal staff and Board of Directors about our allocation system (this task would be based on how much time and availability the students have)

Overall, this process will allow us to create accurate, consistent, and up-to-date food allocation categories for all CAPs. Together, with our GVFB Community Food Hubs, and our Community Agency Partners, GVFB is working to ensure greater food access for community members who are experiencing food insecurity.

Main Project Activities

Collaborating with staff to:

  • Scrub and analyze survey results
  • Follow up with CAPs if data is incorrect or clarification is required
  • Input data into equation to determine allocation/sizing category; assign all CAPs to a category
  • Write a report including data analysis, findings, and summarizing the updated distribution allocation system (if time permits)

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

  • CAP survey results inputted into data system
  • CAPs (new and existing) assigned to an allocation category
  • A report will inform internal staff and Board of Directors on the updated allocation system (if time permits)

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Data analysis
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills (written and oral)
  • Passion for food security and community development

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Strong understanding of community organizations focused on food insecurity
  • Knowledge about the successes and challenges of food distribution in the non-profit sector
  • Teamwork and community based collaboration
  • Understanding of data systems and data analysis skills

Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?

  • No

Is a criminal record check required?

  • Yes

If a criminal record check is required, when should the process be initiated?  

  • At the first community partner meeting (January 22, 2020)

Project Location

  • 8345 Winston Street, Burnaby BC

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Flexible - Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

  • Students are welcome and encouraged to volunteer at the GVFB, including our Hubs program. If interested, please visit our website for more information.

Required Reading

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

  • We will provide students with a tour of our warehouse and explanation of our programs including historical information on food allocation.
  • Students will be encouraged to learn more information about our CAPs by visiting their websites.
  • Upon request, we can arrange for a visit to one of our Agency Partners.

General Resources

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • community resources and programs working towards food security

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the role that community agencies have in addressing food insecurity

Through this project, students will develop...

  • experience with food distribution in the non-profit sector

Organizational Outcomes

Intended Project Outcome (short-term outcome)

  • This project will allow us to create and populate and up-to-date food allocation categories for all Community Partner Agencies

Medium-term Outcome

  • Information gathered in this project will contribute to the development of transparent onboarding processes for CAPs
  • A clear and transparent process for developing a consistent food allocation system contributes to: trusting, equitable, long-term, and sustainable support to GVFB's partner organizations in our community.

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

  • Equitable, sustainable, and long-term support for our CAPs will allow GVFB to increase and strengthen our number of community partnerships. This contributes to our mission of building strong, connected communities through the power of food.
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2020/GVFB