How we Help

Programs

Established in 2018 to assist the Central Okanagan Food Bank and grocery retailers of all sizes, identify and take advantage of viable, surplus perishable foods that are “fit for consumption”, but not “fit for sale” and redirect the food that would otherwise be sent to the landfill, into the hands of those most vulnerable. Our Perishable Food Recovery Program addresses the environmental, social, and economic issue of food waste, by taking surplus perishable food and finding the best and most appropriate use for that food. The Central Okanagan Food Bank’s Perishable Food Recovery Program operates 364 days/year, partners with 12 local retail grocery partners, and 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.

The Tiny Bundles program has been designed specifically for pregnant moms and families with children under the age of one. In addition to a monthly hamper, our Tiny Bundles clients receive weekly supplements including milk, eggs, meat and produce, as well as diapers, baby food, and formula.

Children between 1 and 15 years of age receive a Snack Pack – a bag with 5 days’ worth of after school snacks. These packs include low-sugar granola bars, fruit, fruit juice, yogurt, cheese strings, and more. This program strives to meet Canada’s Food Guidelines for nutrition, and we avoid high-sugar items in these snack packs to support the health of our community’s children.

Our Vitality Program ensures that essential nutrients (as outlined in the Canada Food Guide) are provided to families with children and youth living in the home. All Vitality hampers are augmented by an assortment of dairy, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our 55+ Vitality program ensures that essential nutrients (as outlined in the Canada Food Guide) are provided to seniors (55+).  All Vitality hampers are augmented by an assortment of dairy, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food security means everyone receives access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. The Central Okanagan Food Bank recognizes that not all residents have the same dietary needs, and that a portion of our community have medically diagnosed health problems that may require specialty diets. Clients with diagnosed dietary needs receive specialized foods, such as gluten free, low-sugar, or low-sodium options, etc.

The Central Okanagan Food Bank partners with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets in a unique program called The BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP), a healthy eating initiative that supports Farmers’ Markets and strengthens Food Security across British Columbia. We hand out coupons to our low-income families and seniors (those who have pre-registered and attended our Food Literacy course). These coupons can be spent at our local Farmers’ Market to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, and more. Each household enrolled in the program is eligible to receive $27 in coupons each week.

We have currently filled all available spots for the 2022 Season. To be added to our waitlist, please Contact Us.

Our School Breakfast program, in partnership with the Breakfast Club of Canada, ensures that all students have reliable access to nutritious food in a safe and supportive environment. Participating schools provide breakfast for their students every school day, in order to positively impact health and learning. In the 2021-2022 school year, we helped to provide over 10,000 breakfasts to local students in the Central Okanagan.