Food Bank

Contributor(s): Alkin Delancy, Daniel Olawale, Joe Skotnicki

Kamloops Food Bank

The Kamloops Food Bank plays a key role in the food security efforts of Kamloops and surrounding areas. It is located on the North Shore and receives, houses and redistributes food donations to those in need. In 2018 the Food Bank’s services were accessed by over 7,000 people. The goal of the Food Bank is to create a hunger-free community while eliminating food waste.

Carrots put into bins for people to come and collect
Carrots put into bins for people to come and collect
  • We were given the opportunity to observe the Food Bank in action, seeing how they operate to serve those in need of food assistance by collecting and redistributing perishable and non-perishable foods. The Food Bank is highly organized and efficient, with volunteers receiving, sorting, and storing food constantly due to the high volume of donations daily.
  • Clients are asked to present valid identification that shows proof of address for each member of the family with the exception of children before they can select their food. Based on the number of people in a family, there is a system in place to calculate how much food that family is entitled to.
  • Depending on one’s age, as well as the number of people they are picking up food for, there are certain days on which they can access the Food Bank. Families and single parents may go on Mondays and Wednesdays, adult singles and couples on Tuesdays and Thursdays and seniors on Fridays.  They may return once per week for perishable foods but are also entitled to a non-perishable bin once per month.

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The Process for Clients

  • Once a client enters the food bank and is registered, they will pick a number and line up accordingly to select their food.
  • Before selecting their perishable items, they are allowed to take one item out of each of the 4 bins holding miscellaneous items like sauces and spices that have been donated.
  • Moving along the line, bread and produce are put out on an open counter for clients to pick and choose from freely. Pastries are put at the end of the counter to choose from as well, while dairy products and meat are kept in fridges and freezers along the back of the lineup.
  • The Food Bank also has shelves for potatoes and other vegetables that anyone is free to come to pick up without registering due to the high volume received.
  • All the food available for clients is ensured to be valid for consumption up to 5 days after receiving them from the Food Bank.

Children’s Products

  • One of the most interesting things about the Kamloops Food Bank is the fact that they also provide toddler/infant supplies like diapers, wipes, and formula to families that cannot afford them.
  • Many of these items are store-bought, rather than donated, with the funds that are raised from monetary donations.


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  • foodSHARE is a food recovery program run by the Kamloops Food Bank that collects food from businesses and other donors that would otherwise be wasted and brings it to the food bank for redistribution.
  • Refrigerated trucks operate daily, driving from one location to the next gathering food from places like grocery stores and restaurants in Kamloops and its surrounding areas.
  • Since beginning in 2007, the program has diverted over 10 million pounds of food from the landfill and continues to reduce waste to this day.


  • foodSHARE is the largest food recovery program operated by a food bank in Western Canada.
  • foodSHARE provides for 7,000 clients, 60 community agencies that make meals and 6 farmers who use expired products for animal feed.
  • Healthy products including meat, dairy, produce and bakery items are available to foodSHARE’s clients weekly.