This is the first ever Food Stock, a beer and music festival organized to help support the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB); and the great need for monetary donations. Such donations go to help service the thousands of clients that rely on the GVFB for heathy and nutritious foodstuffs to feed them and their families, week to week.
Over 7 million pounds of food to over 16,000 people a year, with the number rising. Monetary donations can be stretched further thanks to the GVFB’s 2:1 buying power. For every $1 donated they can purchase $2 worth of fresh produce and proteins at cost. That is why it is essential to come out and support them at such functions, as they are thinking outside of the box. Trying new approaches to capture more attention and donations for a population that is only growing and in need of more resources, post pandemic.
The event coincidentally was hosted on one of the hottest day of summer to date. On June 26, 2022 ticket holders gathered to Swangard Stadium to usher in the inaugural year of Food Stock. Each ticket was redeemed for a wrist band that included a complimentary drink voucher, literally. A tear off beer icon, to be redeemed at any of the participating beer and spiked seltzer stands. Participants included Dageraad Brewing, Wildeye, Bridge Brewing, and NUDE beverages.
We got a cup full each from Luppolo Brewing Company and Strange Fellows brewery, who had two of their beers on portable tap. Every additional drink sees 50% of all sales going straight to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
On the other end of Swangard stadium’s track is a row of food trucks. 10% of all food sales from any truck goes to support the GVFB. The Kyu Grill food truck was offering Japanese inspired hero sandwiches, Reel Mac & Cheese had their Mac and cheeses with a variety of toppings, and Beaver Tails had their deep fried sugary dough dressed in a bevy of cookie and candy spreads and sprinkles.
We lunched on Reel Mac & Cheese’s pulled pork mac and cheese, a creamy and chewy pasta that came out quick and hit all the levels, exactly as you wanted it to.
Similarly, the sweet and chocolaty goodness of the deep fried chewy beaver tail was a great outdoor event treat.
In between sips and nibbles guests enjoyed local live music on the main stage, where we were given exposure to up and coming rock bands. And if you like what you heard, you could purchase their merch to show solidarity. At the same GFVB booth, you could also pick up a the Food Bank heart logo ball cap or toque.
And when you were not eating or listening to the live music, there are games and activities to partake in, courtesy of one of the event sponsor’s: The Peak 102.9FM. Games like corn hole, giant jenga, giant connect four, and parachute.
There was also activities like stencil printing on a paper. Where you choose your pattern in the form or a stamp, roll paint on it, put it between a sheet of cardboard and a press, and then pull down the handle to adhere ink on paper for a fun keepsake. Shame they didn’t have an option to buy a bag or tee to have this print stamped on to, with partial proceeds going to the food bank. Alas we took part and had fun anyways.
All in all this was a great day out in the park, and a great way to bring awareness to the cause and help drive funds for the GVFB. As a first go at it they have done a great job. Given the happy faces and the crowd’s reactions I can see there being a second edition in the years to come, bigger and better with every run. Follow @vanfoodbank on IG for all future fundraising events and opportunities, where you can help volunteer your time and/or your additional income.