Vancouver food charity urgently calls for more volunteers this holiday season
Posted November 30, 2023 2:10 pm.
A food charity in Vancouver is asking for more people to volunteer their time this holiday season after it reported demand for its services nearly double in 2023.
Vancouver Food Runners uses an app and a team of volunteers to re-direct healthy surplus foods to non-profit partners throughout the city.
Tristan Jagger, founder of Vancouver Food Runners, says demand for the charity’s services has spiked by more than 40 per cent this year alone, with over 1.1 million pounds of food being collected.
Jagger explains there are currently 2,600 volunteers on the app. While about 300 of them are typically active at a time, she says this is still not enough to keep up with the demand.
“We just need more volunteers to make sure we are getting food to the right people that need it,” she said.
Jagger says the organization’s numbers show one in seven people in the region are currently experiencing food insecurity.
“That’s a pretty big number,” she said, adding demand was about one in nine when Vancouver Food Runners first launched the program in 2020.
The app helps a variety of groups which support a range of individuals such as the elderly, single-moms, those struggling with mental illness, and families.
Vancouver Food Runners says the app works by matching volunteers with food suppliers. Once that’s done, volunteers set up a time to pick up the donated food, which is then dropped off at a non-profit partner.
“The thing about Vancouver Food Runners is it’s super high impact … volunteering for about an hour is equivalent to delivering about $570 worth of food,” Jagger said.
She is urging those who want to help out to download the app and see what routes work with their schedules.