As winter looms, so will the need for millions of North Americans to deal with food insecurity. For example, Canada’s chief central banker, Tiff Macklem, warns of a long, slow recovery due to the pandemic and related job loss, which is larger now than in 2008. This also disproportionally affects those with the lowest-wage jobs.
Non-traditional takes on food banks are giving more options to families. Like Food Pantries, non-profit groceries rely on donations to survive. Grocery or big-box stores rely on high volume from the general public to keep prices low — non-profits aren’t open to the general public. With close-to-the-edge operating margins, non-profits rely on donations, membership models, distributor price cuts, discounts from utility companies and on you, their dedicated volunteers.
Non-profit grocers fill the gaps in underserved areas with a critical resource. Another plus of these food charities is that some people may not feel the stigma in a store environment that they would in food bank.
Here at Indianlife we’re proud to support BC’s Quest Food Exchange! Quest Food Exchange collaborates with communities to ensure that clients have a dignified shopping experience while accessing healthy and affordable grocery, household and personal care items. Quest is a membership-based program. All Individuals and charitable organizations: children and families, immigrants, refugees, seniors with limited financial resources, people on disability allowance and others who classify for low income criteria qualify for a Quest member card.
Their Food Recovery and Redistribution model makes Quest an innovator. Quest recovers quality food and necessities from manufacturers and suppliers at all levels of the supply chain. They redistribute these to community members in need. Partnering with Quest lets suppliers give back to community while disposing of surplus in an environmentally-friendly way, rather than in a landfill.
Quest’s mandate is: Reduce Hunger with Dignity, Build Community and Foster Sustainability.
There are exciting non-profits popping up in the US too. This winter, donating to your favorite food charity is one of the best things you can do! — thank you for supporting local food charities in challenging times!