Giving Back to the Community



Cynthia Boulter

Chief Operating Officer, Greater Vancouver Food Bank


The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is experiencing unprecedented demand in their 40th anniversary year. Here’s how organizations can provide support at this critical time.

Organizations are responsible for finding ways to give back to the communities they inhabit and share with their employees and clients. People often think of monetary giving and cheque-presenting financial contributions, but it goes much further than this. There are countless ways a business can help give back to their community and many forms of support they can offer. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) is no stranger to corporate giving, especially regarding more unique forms of support provided. We have seen everything from large financial donations to the gift of pro-bono services, to the ongoing support of corporate volunteers. In 2022, we received more than 60,000 hours of volunteer time, with many of these individuals being members of corporate volunteer groups. As the public need grows, so does the ability to provide help as an organization. There is not just one way to give when it comes to supporting your neighbours.

A great example of providing ongoing organizational support is the partnership provided by RGF Integrated Wealth Management. The past several years have brought forth a wave of critical demand for the GVFB’s services, including a recording-breaking number of new client registrations. In 2023, the average month added more than 800 new individuals to our client database, leading to a record-breaking total of 16,500 monthly clients supported. As a continued partner, RGF has helped the GVFB continue its mission of Providing Healthy Food to Those in Need. We must build relationships with individuals and corporations, such as RGF, that can provide multi-faceted support from monetary contributions to volunteering, or a combination of the two!

RGF has supported the food bank by providing many hours of dedicated volunteer service, as well as financial contributions to the organization. Over the years, RGF has contributed generously. The money provided goes toward operations at the GVFB, enabling our team to fulfill operational needs and purchase nutritious food. Many people don’t realize what a complex organization the GVFB is, with many components that factor into our mission including massive warehousing space, industrial-sized refrigeration and freezers, warehouse equipment and trained staff, a fleet of refrigerated trucks and a driver team, and so much more! There is a huge operation that fuels our ability to get healthy food into the hands of our community and neighbours who need it.

In addition to this generous gift, RGF is one of several organizations that sponsored our second annual Foodstock festival in June 2023. Foodstock is a music festival that raises money for the GVFB with live music, local beer and wine, food trucks, yard games, and more! To make this event happen, we rely on the support of vendors and organizations to sponsor specific aspects of the festival. RGF offered to supply all the volunteers for the event, which took a massive load off of the GVFB team!

By providing reliable, ongoing support, RGF Integrated Wealth Management and the GVFB have built a relationship that benefits the greater community together.

As we have seen in countless news articles and interviews, healthy food is most needed among Canadian families, but it’s becoming harder and harder to afford. The average person experiencing food insecurity can only afford the inexpensive, high-sodium canned products we often associate with food banks. People need the leafy greens and nutrient-rich proteins provided by the GVFB! Through our industry partner-ships, the GVFB can purchase food at wholesale rates and buy items like apples and potatoes in bulk. This allows us to distribute proper nutrition to clients of all ages, including additional monthly nutrition programs for seniors, children, and babies. Healthy eating habits start young and last for life, and many health conditions are improved simply with good nutrition; with RGF’s help, we are able to make a real difference in the lives of our clients.

Partnerships are critical to the GVFB, and we’re grateful for organizations like RGF that allow us to make this difference in our community and the lives of people in need. While we need better solutions to tackle the systems that lead to food insecurity in Canada, we’re fortunate to have impactful industry and corporate partners that allow us to support the growing demand. ■


The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of RGF Integrated Wealth Management, which makes no representations as to their completeness or accuracy.



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