Dear Greater Vancouver Food Bank's Board of Directors,
We know that food banks have long been a critical source of support for those in need in this city. And this pandemic has shone a light on the importance of the social infrastructures that are in place to support those who are in need.
Equity and inclusion are part of OneCity’s core values as an organization. Our thousands of members and supporters across the city are working to build an equitable and inclusive city, where those who are marginalized, precarious and vulnerable can still feel supported and engaged. As you are well-aware, food security is a critical part of the social supports that help those who are most in need to participate and stay engaged in civic life.
For this reason, we are deeply troubled to learn about GVFB’s new policies for those in need to access food banks, including requiring proof of residency and proof of income from those hoping to access your services.
Research and evidence show that the majority of food bank users are legitimately in need. We’re deeply concerned that requiring proof of residency and income will discourage and keep those who are most in need from using food banks. This group can include those who are homeless, recent and non-status newcomers who lack documentation, and anyone who feels stigmatized for using food banks.
We urge the GVFB Board to heed the call from so many from the food security community, community groups, and residents, to revisit and remove the barriers that are being put in place for food bank users through these new policies. These changes will hurt those who are most in need.
Thank you for the work that you do. And we hope that the concerns raised by so many in the Greater Vancouver community will help improve the important service you provide.
Anna & Laura, Co-Chairs