Quest to Reduce Hunger and Build Community in Surrey

The mission is simple: to reduce hunger with dignity, build community and foster sustainability. And with four markets in total, Quest Food Exchange, British Columbia’s largest not-for-profit food exchange program is working tirelessly to do just that.

Through food programs and their low cost grocery markets, clients are able to purchase what they need in a supermarket setting. The need is vital and growing.  In 2014, in all four markets, over 349,000 unique shopping visits were recorded. The grocery market in Surrey opened its doors in 2008 and was visited more than 60,000 times last year alone.

Quest collects surplus food from hundreds of vendors at all levels of the food supply chain and re-distributes it through the grocery market. Fruits and vegetables, dry goods, dairy products, meat, bread, dessert, vitamins and household goods are all available.

Clients are low income individuals and families, seniors, the mentally and physically disabled, adult students and those struggling with addiction.

In 2011 and again in 2014, Envision Financial was pleased to support Quest Food Exchange with a $10,000 Community Endowment grant to continue to promote increased food security and empowerment within Surrey.

The grocery market is not open to the public at-large. A referral is required from one of more than 500 social service agencies that work with Quest. Clients of partnering schools, daycares, hospices, churches, food banks, shelters and many other social service agencies are able to access healthy food at a much reduced rate and are empowered to make their own food choices that best suits them and their families.

Quest is a food distribution hub that for many is a stepping stone during the transition from food bank reliance to self-sufficiency. “Quest takes a holistic approach to providing affordable, nutritious food to our low income neighbours,” added Sarah Abbots with Quest Food Exchange. “We increase their dignity and self-esteem by providing a traditional grocery store environment for shopping.”