About the Food

How much food will I receive at a Loaves & Fishes Free Food Market?

The amount of food you receive each visit depends on the size of your household, what type of hamper you're eligible for that day and how much food has been donated by our grocery partners.

Loaves & Fishes Food Bank in Nanaimo & Area:

Regular (or "Full") Hamper is once every 2 weeks

Food 4U Hamper (fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and extras when available) can be accessed 7 days a week.

Please see the Nanaimo & Area schedule HERE for details.

Loaves & Fishes Food Bank in Port Hardy:

Regular (or "Full") Hamper is once every 4 weeks

Food 4U (fresh fruit, vegetable, bread and extras when available) can be accessed at each opening

Please see the Port Hardy schedule HERE for details.

* All food for individuals is accessed through the free food markets only. We do not offer food for individuals or registration at our main office and warehouse.*

What is a Regular Hamper?

We strive to provide both non-perishable foods (canned and packaged foods) AND perishable foods such as meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables and bread in the Regular (Full) Hampers.

What is a Food 4U Hamper?

We strive to provide fruit, vegetables, bread and possibly other items of which we have surplus. The Food 4U Hamper is available each time a Loaves & Fishes free food market is open.

Do I get to choose my own food or is pre-packaged?

All Loaves & Fishes free food markets are set up like a shopping experience - you will be able to choose your own foods.

What if I can't stand in line?

There are four options for people who are unable to wait in line for their turn to select food:

1.  Use the drive- thru - The free food market on Farquhar Street offers a convenient drive-thru service. Simply get into the car lineup and wait to drive through when it comes your turn. You will be able to choose your produce and bread, but the other items will be put together for you on a tray which you will load into your car.

2. 3rd Party Pickup - If you are already registered you may give your ID to someone else to collect food for you at a free food market. They will need to show their ID as well.

3. Make an appointment - Several of our free food markets are accessible by appointment only. You can book an appointment day and time on our website and collect food at your allotted time. 

4. Apply for the Hamper 2 Your Home service - Once per month food delivery is available for people those who are medically housebound. Click HERE for details and to access the application form.