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We Our Food Retailers – A Key Player in Local Food Systems

We often share the sentiment that we simply couldn’t do what we do without our community—and it’s absolutely true. The Central Okanagan Food Bank has been in operation for nearly forty years. Season after season, the good people of the Okanagan rally to make sure that everyone has a plate at the dinner table.

Yet there is also an extremely caring and generous community of people among us that provides support to COFB day-in and day-out: our local grocery retailers. We like to think we’re pretty good at feeding people, but they’re REALLY good at feeding people. So good that when shoppers (aka you) head to the store anticipating fully stocked shelves with their favourite and freshest foods, they’re always there—supply chain challenges aside!

In 2018, COFB and these food retailers formed a relationship to recover food that’s fit for consumption, but not for sale from grocery store shelves and share them with our food bank clients; a mutually beneficial endeavour. The stores are able to reduce food waste as they rotate their items each day, and the food bank is able to provide more variety and freshness in turn. And in the fall of 2018, the program began its first trips.

Though we say it is mutually beneficial, we know that we’re the lucky ones. The Central Okanagan Food Bank sees an average of 8,383 lbs. of food donated by our grocery retailers each day, with the program growing year over year. While helping strengthen our ability to provide high nutrition to our clients regularly, it is considered the first stage of upstream food security: working to provide more nutritious and locally available food on an increasing basis.

We are so incredibly grateful to our local partner food retailers, who have joined on our mission to create a healthy, hunger-free community. Below is a map of our partners’ locations within Kelowna and West Kelowna, who work with us 364 days per year to get good food into the hands of those who need it most. They are all incredible contributors, big business or small, and we celebrate them!

And guess what? You can also support the food bank just by choosing one of these retailers to do your weekly grocery run. Yay!

Here is a list of our current most needed items.

And you can get your online shop started at any of our partner retailers right here.


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