November, 2004 - April, 2006
Cathy Brown and Paul Welsh
In the Lower Mainland, some 20% of the population cannot afford the food needed for a healthy diet. Meanwhile, tonnes of food ends up in landfills every week, discarded largely by grocery stores. In these two situations, the founders of Quest Food Exchange recognized an opportunity. They created a program to collect excess food, and redistribute it to community groups that run meal programs, food hampers, and community kitchens.
By 2003, Quest Food Exchange was operating at full capacity, using a manual system to track large amounts of donated food. A more sophisticated and efficient method was needed, and so the Partner team helped Quest Food Exchange to select and implement a computerized Warehouse Inventory Management System (WIMS). This was essential in order to expand services and help more people.
Quest Food Exchange also faced human resource challenges of high staff turnover and demanding workloads, so the Partner team helped to hire a consultant to develop professional HR polices and procedures. In addition, BC SVP helped to develop a marketing plan to increase awareness of Quest Food Exchange's services among food suppliers and social service agencies.
The hard work of Quest Food Exchange and the Partner team paid off. In 2006, Quest Food Exchange was awarded Vancity's $1 Million Award — a huge honour, and a testament to the solid investment they have proven themselves to be. BC SVP is proud to have been a part of Quest Food Exchange's success.