How we Help

Food Recovery

Perishable Food Recovery Program

Established in 2018 to assist the Central Okanagan Food Bank and grocery retailers of all sizes, our Perishable Food Recovery Program addresses the environmental, social, and economic issue of food waste by taking surplus perishable food and redirecting it from the landfill.

The Central Okanagan Food Bank’s Perishable Food Recovery Program operates 364 days/year and partners with 12 local retail grocery partners as well as local farmers to recover all perishable food regardless of viability. Edible foods are then distributed to individuals, families, and community agencies. Inedible foods are either distributed to farmers for animal feed or sent for compost.

Food Recovery Program

Total lbs. received:
2,898,490
◦ Total lbs composted: 410,355
◦ Total lbs kept from landfill: 2,488,135
Total lbs. Distributed:
2,694,656
◦ Distributed to clients: 1,559,288
◦ Distributed to other Food Banks: 429,871
◦ Distributed to local agencies: 295,141
*Based on 2021 fiscal year.

National Food Sharing System

As 1 of only 4 Food Banks in BC designated as a National Food Sharing System (NFSS) Hub, the Central Okanagan Food Bank also support an additional 32 regional food banks, from the Columbia-Shuswap through the Okanagan and into the Kootenay Boundaries, with food items shipped through Food Banks Canada and Food Banks BC.
Food Banks we support through the NFSS program include
  • Armstrong
  • Castlegar
  • Cawston
  • Cherryville
  • Creston
  • Cranbrook
  • Enderby
  • Fernie
  • Golden
  • Grand Forks
  • Invermere
  • Kaslo
  • Kelowna
  • Kimberley
  • Lake Country
  • Lumby
  • Nakusp
  • Nelson
  • Oliver
  • Osoyoos
  • Peachland
  • Penticton
  • Revelstoke
  • Salmo
  • Salmon Arm
  • Sicamous
  • Slocan
  • Sorrento
  • Sparwood
  • Summerland
  • Trail
  • Vernon
Last year we provided community food banks across the province with over 400,000 lbs of non-perishable and fresh food products.
Total lbs received
760,883
(over 900 pallets received in 2020)
Total lbs distributed
429,871
(over 500 pallets sent in 2020)
Goods are donated to FBC.
Pallets are shipped to us from Food Banks Canada.
Donations are broken down and rearranged onto
outgoing pallets for community Food Banks.
Orders are shipped out to community
food banks across the province.

Stretchable Soups Program

Our Stretchable Soups Program was an effort built to benefit our community, by enhancing food security during a time where the Central Okanagan Food Bank faced unprecedented need, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 9,000 soup units were provided, translating to 27,000 meals to an estimated 1,200 households in the Central Okanagan—in the process saving from nearly 5 tonnes of fresh food from the landfill.

The project emerged as an opportunity to use aging perishable foods already being collected by our Perishable Food Recovery Program that would otherwise go to waste. These opportunities were three-fold, as the produce-turned-soup would soon provide a highly nutritious, less perishable offering to our community’s most vulnerable.

The Stretchable Soups Program is a leading example of active community collaboration, environmentally responsible food banking, community food education, and enhancement both of food security and the nutritional value of provisions received by our clients. Overall, the program has been met with resounding support and interest, and we foresee a future of soup production on the horizon at our earliest opportunity.

Community Kitchen Program

Coming soon, watch for updates!

Local Composting Program

Coming soon, watch for updates!

Vision Casting for the Future Food Bank

Increase Access to
Healthy Food

  • Edible Landscaping
  • Rooftop Gardens
  • Community Gardens/Farms
  • Healthy Food for All

Increase Cooking
Capacity Skills

  • Community Kitchens

Increase Efficiency

  • New Building
  • Less Food Waste/Increased Purchasing Power
  • Building Capacity to reduce Food
  • Bank need
Ultimately, we are relieving hunger today and preventing hunger tomorrow