April 9, 2020
Vancouver, B.C. - Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, vulnerable individuals need access to healthy and affordable food now more than ever. The COVID-19 Emergency Feeding Program is a collaborative effort between 4 key partners with the generous donation from The Giustra Foundation and rapid coordination led by their board director, Lara Dauphinee. Within a matter of 5 days, this program was up and running.
The feeding program will see 2,000 meals delivered over the next two weeks to charities in our community including The KidSafe Project, City Reach Care Society, Atira Women’s Resource Society, YWCA Cause We Care House, and YWCA Crabtree Corner -- who are doing everything they can to support children and families during these difficult times. The program will run for 14 days and then be reassessed.
“This COVID-19 crisis has created additional hardship for Vancouver’s most vulnerable residents. Many of us are in a position to lend a helping hand. Now is the time to step up and do our part. Our community needs us”, said Frank Giustra, founder of The Giustra Foundation. Earlier this week, the Giustra Foundation announced another feeding program focusing on seniors living in SROs in the Vancouver downtown eastside.
“Getting healthy food to many who are struggling right now is our top priority and reaffirms the need for collaboration and swift action to ensure our community is fed. We are inspired by the generosity of The Giustra Foundation and the quick pivot in operations by our partners at Savoury Chef Foods and Vancouver Food Runners that enable this project to come to life,” said Julia Hunter, Executive Director of Food Stash Foundation who is the charity sponsor of this project.
The meals are being executed by Savoury Chef Foods, a catering company located in Strathcona. “Savoury Chef has long been involved in working with SROs to provide nutritious and affordable meals. We have the capacity and the systems in place to rapidly expand our programs as needs require,” said Anna Wallner, President, Savoury Chef Foods.
The meals will then be delivered to charities by volunteers from the Vancouver Food Runners. “In one of the hardest times our community has ever faced, it has been absolutely incredible to see organizations come together and help others. Within two weeks, Vancouver Food Runners mobilized more than 100 volunteers to move excess food from food businesses – and amazing catering companies like Savoury Chef —to charities that needed it. The Giustra Foundation has been extremely generous in donating 2000 meals for 5 different charities that provide food for children and families. It is astonishing that 1 in 6 children in BC are food insecure, and you can only imagine the need right now. We are so lucky to have the support of The Giustra Foundation in these unprecedented times,” said Tristan Jagger, Founder of Vancouver Food Runners.
About The Giustra Foundation
For over two decades, The Giustra Foundation has supported innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian and economic challenges. Through partnerships with leading organizations in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada, we assist and develop initiatives focused on youth, education, community-building and refugee resettlement.
About Food Stash Foundation
Food Stash Foundation is a registered charity with a twofold mission to reduce the environmental impact of food waste and bridge the food insecurity gap within our community. On a monthly basis, we rescue over 45,000 pounds of perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and redistribute it to over 25 partner charities across Vancouver in addition to 60 households through our Rescued Food Box Program. We strive to close the loop on our food system by redirecting all compost to local animal sanctuaries.
About Savoury Chef Foods
Savoury Chef has been operating since 2006 across all areas of food service, catering and event planning. It is located in a 10,000 square foot facility in Strathcona and was voted #1 Best Caterer in Vancouver by the Georgia Straight Golden Plates Awards, 2020.
About Vancouver Food Runners
Vancouver Food Runners’ mission is to respond to the unfortunate disconnect between the fact that 58% of all food produced is wasted or lost while one in nine households in British Columbia are food insecure. We aim to alleviate food insecurity and promote sustainability by preventing perfectly healthy food from entering the waste stream and directly distributing it to organizations working with the food insecure. Leveraging technology, civic engagement, and public-private partnerships, Vancouver Food Runners has developed an innovative transport and distribution model that effectively responds to the opportunity of smaller-scale retail food surplus and has the potential to have a significant and measurable impact on food insecurity in Vancouver.