Local communities in Fraser Health have services available to provide either low-cost or free food to their residents.

COVID-19: Free and low-cost food directory 

Access to food can be difficult at this time. We have provided lists of food, meal, and lower cost grocery options being offered during this COVID-19 period. These lists are a collection of many local organizations whose programs can change frequently. We recommend you call before visiting to ensure times and services have not changed.

For organizations providing free and low-cost food, thank you for your service to the community at this time. Funding opportunities are available to you and a list is provided below. 

  • General food access services

    BC 211 Safe Seniors is connecting seniors with volunteers willing to check in on them or help pick-up groceries/prescriptions. There is an online form to fill out to become connected with a volunteer. You can also sign up to receive assistance by calling 2-1-1. 

    Food Banks – some food banks are continuing to operate while others have closed at this time. Many have changed their hours of service and are offering alternative ways of providing food. Please check with your local food bank for more details. Follow this link to find a food bank near you

    Grocery and Meal Delivery – Check with your local grocery stores and restaurants to see if they are offering delivery at this time. Some stores are offering special hours for seniors. 

  • Emergency food groups - funding opportunities

    Reaching Home’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – available to organizations supporting the homeless-serving sector. Submissions will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis until April 29 or until all funds have been allocated. Please visit here for more information (pdf file).

    Breakfast Club of Canada – available to schools and established organizations supporting families and communities facing food insecurity. 

    Food Rescue with support from the Government of Canada – available to local community organizations to ensure food makes its way to those who need it most.  

    Food Banks – emergency funding from the Provincial Government available to all registered charities who distribute groceries. 

    Vancouver Foundation Community Response Fund – available to community-based organizations serving low-income and vulnerable populations. 

  • Ongoing food and low cost food directory

    The lists below will provide you with:

    • Location
    • Contact information
    • Program details
    • Cost (if any)
    • Days and times offered

    Please note: This list is a collection of many local organizations whose programs can change frequently. We recommend you call before attending any of the programs to ensure the times have not changed. We update this list yearly.

Municipality-specific food access services

Food access for individuals and organizations - Questions and answers

  • I am self-isolating and cannot leave my home to buy groceries. How can I get food? 

    Self-isolation can pose an additional barrier to accessing food during this time, however many businesses and organizations are offering grocery and meal delivery services.  

    For groceries, contact your local grocery store to see if they are providing delivery services. If you are a senior, BC 211 is connecting seniors with volunteers that can pick-up groceries and prescriptions. You can call 2-1-1 or fill out their online form. Please see the municipality-specific services for grocery delivery programs in your area.

    For meals, many restaurants are offering delivery services and can be contacted directly through phone or email. Other meal delivery programs are also available and can be found under the municipality-specific services.

    If you need free or low-cost food, some food banks are providing delivery services. Please see the municipality-specific services for details.

  • This is my first time using low-cost food and meal services. How do I go about it?

    Food banks typically provide three to four days’ worth of free food every one or two weeks for their clients. Most will require you to register as a client to use their services. This can involve calling the food bank or setting up an appointment with them. Once you are registered, you can pick up your food hamper based on the operating hours and dates of that specific food bank. 

    Free meal programs provide individual meals and may be available to all community members or just a specific population (such as youth or seniors). You will need to contact the organization offering the meals to receive your food. Some programs offer free meals daily whereas others only operate on certain days during the week or month. Many programs are now providing food in prepackaged containers to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. You may need to register with the program in order to receive meals. Others will allow you to drop-in without registering or ordering the food. Certain restaurants are also offering free meals at this time.

    Low-cost meals are available through several organizations. Orders and payment can be done online or over the phone and the prepackaged meals are delivered on specific days of the week. Some organizations provide hot meals whereas others offer frozen meals. Some of these services are only offered to specific populations, such as seniors or those with medical conditions. 

    Please see the municipality-specific services to find free and low-cost food options near you. Each organization operates slightly differently so check the description of each one to learn how to access their services. 

  • My organization offers food and/or meal services. How do I keep my employees and volunteers safe?

    Organizations distributing foods to low-income or vulnerable clients are exempted from the requirement in place for restaurants who are not allowed to serve meals indoors at tables. However, they must comply with physical distancing requirements to protect employees, volunteers and clients.

    Some ways to adapt your services to allow for physical distancing include preparing hampers ahead of time for clients to pick up, having clients wait outside for pick up and staggering pick up times to avoid crowding.

    For organizations offering meal services, pre-packaged meals are the safest option. Self-service items should be removed from areas where clients can access them and utensils and cutlery should be replaced.

    Additionally, have handwashing stations and hand sanitizer available.

    Please visit the BCCDC page for Food Banks & Food Distribution for detailed information on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to volunteers, employees and clients.

    Source – BC Centre for Disease Control

  • What food-related services are considered essential?

    Food-related essential services include:

    • Businesses and non-profit organizations providing food for low-income or vulnerable populations (includes food banks and community kitchens).
    • Schools and other entities providing free food services to students, or other members of the public.
    • Food cultivation services (includes farming, livestock, fishing and community gardens)• Farming supply retailers.
    • Services in food processing, manufacturing, storage and distribution. 
    • Retail food establishments and restaurants (operating under provincial recommendations).
    • Food inspection, transportation and delivery services.

    Please visit the Government of B.C.’s website for a complete list of essential services.