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Tri-City mayors join $500K food bank challenge in friendly face-off against Metro Vancouver cities

SHARE Family and Community Services is set to be one of the recipients of the competition.
[From left to right] Tri-City mayors Richard Stewart (Coquitlam), Brad West (Port Coquitlam) and Rob Vagramov (Port Moody) are facing off against other colleagues in Metro Vancouver to se who can raise the most funds in the annual Mayors' Food Bank Challenge.

Mayors from the Tri-Cities' big three communities are participating in a fundraising bout with regional mayors.

Richard Stewart (Coquitlam), Brad West (Port Coquitlam) and Rob Vagramov (Port Moody) officially joined the 2022 Mayors' Food Bank Challenge on Sunday (May 1) and look to collect as many virtual donations as possible before the end of the month.

The virtual fundraising event — which has set a goal of $500,000 — is set to benefit the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) and three other non-profit organizations, including SHARE Family and Community Services.

The challenge is set to create awareness on food insecurity across the Lower Mainland due to a higher cost of living, which the GVFB says is putting pressure on families in the communities it supports.

According to Census 2016, nearly 20 per cent of Coquitlam residents were considered low income; 24 per cent of that total were children and 12 per cent were seniors.

In Port Coquitlam, low-income residents made up 11 per cent of the city's population including children (27 per cent) and seniors (13 per cent).

Census 2016 showed 12 per cent of Port Moody residents were on a low income with 27 and 16 per cent of that involving children and seniors respectively.

"Every Wednesday, the SHARE Food Bank supports Port Moody residents in need through the distribution of food hampers at SHARE Family and Community Services," reads a GVFB release.

"Each year, SHARE provides services to over 22,000 families across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra."

How it works

Each Tri-City mayor has set an online fundraising threshold for the food bank challenge:

  • $65,000 = Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart
  • $25,000 = Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West
  • $15,000 = Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov

Final numbers will be based on value per capita.

The GVFB explains this is will be determined by combining cash raised and food value ($2.62 for each pound of food collected), and then dividing that total by the 2016 Census population data for each city.

Donations can be made to the GVFB's overall campaign or to individual pages by going online to the Mayors' Food Bank Challenge website.

Other participating mayors and their respective cities are: 

  • Burnaby = Mayor Mike Hurley
  • Chilliwack = Mayor Ken Popove
  • City of North Vancouver = Mayor Linda Buchanan
  • New Westminster = Mayor Jonathan Coté
  • Vancouver = Mayor Kennedy Stewart
  • White Rock = Mayor Darryl Walker

Mayor Buchanan led the City of North Vancouver to victory last year by raising $68,905 between money and food, equating to $1.20 per capita.