Food Security - United Way BC

Food Security

Supporting British Columbians' health and wellness through food security.

The importance of food security goes far beyond hunger. It affects physical and mental health and the ability to maintain personal relationships and work.

In 2022, almost 17% or 857,000 British Columbians lived in a food-insecure household. For children under 18, the number is much higher at almost 22%.

Ensuring British Columbians have access to nourishing, healthy, and culturally preferable food is vital to the overall health and well-being of our communities. To help make that happen, United Way British Columbia focuses on the following food security initiatives:

Food Security Grants

United Way BC Food Security Grants help promote food access across the province.

Food Link by United Way BC app

Food Link by United Way BC helps British Columbians access healthy, nutritious, and culturally preferable food.

Everyone needs food, but many British Columbians cannot afford it. And, not all people have the same food needs. Background, income level, and age are just a few of the factors that determine what people eat and what and how much they buy.

Food Link by United Way BC is an innovative app that connects the food needs of nonprofit partners and their clients to local, regional and small-scale food organizations and suppliers while mobilizing volunteers to efficiently and cost-effectively transport food between locations.

Learn more about how Food Link is helping more British Columbians get the food they need, when they need it.

Download Food Link by United Way BC app at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Right in your neighbourhood – Regional Community Food Hubs

United Way Regional Community Food Hubs are an innovative, local response to food security.

Community members have access to food, food literacy and wellness programming, together with wrap-around services such as mental health support, employment services, childcare and more.

Hubs also offer volunteer and engagement opportunities for community members, right in their neighbourhoods. 

By building dignity through respecting individual and community needs, Food Hubs strengthen bonds between members — creating vital connections between cultures and traditions of all kinds and improving the quality of life for children, families, seniors and individuals. 

Strengthening a sustainable food security system for British Columbians requires everyone working together, united to achieve change. The Regional Community Food Hub network consists of non-profit partners, residents, businesses, all levels of government, the agricultural sector and other funders, working collaboratively to best meet British Columbia communities’ food needs. 

See how Regional Community Food Hubs are improving food access across BC. Read our first Annual Report.

Hubs are located in communities across BC. Find the one nearest you.

Rescue and recovery – Food Fillers

United Way Food Fillers are food rescue and recovery organizations, redistributing food at risk of being wasted by businesses to community partners who can utilize it.

Supporting the expansion of this network – including logistics like providing warehouse space or purchasing delivery trucks – means more food gets to more people.

Funding also helps build partnerships within the agricultural sector for the purchase of local fresh farm produce at reasonable rates.  

General support for food access organizations

Are you a food access organization seeing extreme need in your community? There may be opportunities to connect you with resources or support from the current hub and spoke network.

Food Banks BC and United Way BC are the two leading provincial organizations responding to immediate and longer-term food security needs our province. Food Banks BC has 106 member agencies and works with a broad stakeholder group to support ongoing and emergency food access needs. United Way BC Food Initiatives utilize a hub and spoke network model to ensure programs meet the individual needs of communities and leverage resources across food security agencies.

Send the name and location of your organization, the type of support your organization provides and specific details around your current community need to foodsecurity@uwbc.ca. A Food Banks BC or United Way BC staff member will reply to you within five business days.  

Note: Funding support may be unavailable at this time.

Food Security

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