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Here are some delicious ways to give back in Vancouver this holiday season

Ways to give back right now - often with something good to eat or drink in it for you, too.
Nuba_SeasonalMealKits_2
New meal kits available from Nuba in Vancouver pay it forward with donations to WISH Centre. Photo courtesy Nuba

For those looking to make their money go the extra mile this holiday season, a number of Vancouver restaurants, breweries, and food businesses have incorporated ways to give back - often that factor in you getting to enjoy something delicious, too.

We've rounded up a few admirable initiatives that are up and running right now, ranging from special meals and ingredients that raise money for worthy causes to seasonal fundraising campaigns adapted to the event-free era we're living in. 

Nuba: Seasonal meal kits in support of the WISH Centre 

Until the end of the year, Nuba will be paying it forward by donating meals to the WISH Centre — a local charity that works to improve the health, safety and well-being of women involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade — with the purchase of every one of their new seasonal meal kits. Nuba's four new meal kits include enough fresh, healthy and delicious food for between 12 and 20 portions to enjoy multiple meals and are available for direct delivery via nuba.ca.

When: Now until December 31 

Chef's Table Society: Two Rivers Meats fundraiser

Without events throughout 2020, the Chefs' Table Society of BC has been unable to maintain its income which allows us to provide scholarships and other educational opportunities to the Industry. As well as, build and plan for the future of the CTS Culinary Library.  However, here's how you can help: By purchasing frozen meat packs from Chefs’ Table Society fundraiser program with Two Rivers Meats and have 15% of sales donated to Chefs’ Table Society.

You can order for your Holiday Celebrations (or gifts) any of the following:

  • Surf & Turf Box with various steaks and Organic Ocean scallops, shrimp and Spot Prawn tails.
  • Meat & Seafood Griller with sausage, chicken breasts, halibut, and sockeye salmon.
  • The Essential Box with Fraser Valley sliced bacon, chicken breast, Farmcrest Specialty whole chicken,  sirloin steaks, and lean ground beef.
  • Bacon Box with Fraser Valley bacon.
  • Chicken Thigh Box with Farmcrest Non-GMO chicken thighs.
  • Chicken Breast Box with Farmcerst Non-GMO chicken breasts.

Your support of this fundraiser helps the CTS continue to provide scholarships while events are on-hold due to COVID-19.

Sales end December 4. Frozen meat packs will be available for pick up from Two Rivers (180 Donaghy Avenue, North Vancouver) on Thursday, December 17 or Friday December 18 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

When: Sales end Dec. 4

Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer: Drive-through herring sale

fishermen-helping-kids-with-cancer-herring-salePhoto: Fishermen Helping Kids With Cancer/Facebook

Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer (FHKWC) is holding its 10th annual herring sale on Saturday, December 5, by adopting a vehicle drive-through model for the safety of its generous customers and team of approximately 50 volunteers.

It's the first time in their decade-long history they've put sales online, but they did not want to skip out on helping out this year. Volunteers will be wearing PPE, and drive-through pick-up times will be staggered into one-hour time slots between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Vouchers for 20-pound bags of fresh herring at $20 can be purchased online. All of the proceeds to BC Children’s Hospital.

The FHKWC herring sale is located at the Steveston Harbour at 12740 Trites Road in Richmond.

When: Saturday, December 5

Paramount Fine Foods Holiday Campaign

Paramount Fine Foods has launched its Holiday Campaign across Canada, providing guests with endless menu options for holiday celebrations, paired with a meal donation to a family in need. Paramount’s partners, Coke Canada Bottling and Sysco Canada, are also generously sponsoring the campaign.

The Holiday Campaign will take place locally at the Paramount Fine Food Middle Eastern Kitchen restaurant (560 Robson St) from November 28 to December 26. Paramount will automatically donate a meal with every $50 order, and guests will also be given the opportunity to add a $5 donation when they place an order online.

When: November 28 to December 26

Main Street Brewing's Miracle on Main Street

MSB_Holidays_3Photo courtesy Main Street Brewing

Main Street Brewing is hosting its inaugural Miracle on Main Street charitable drive from December 1 to 12. During these 12 days of giving, brewery-goers who drop off an unwrapped toy or gift card with a minimum value of $10 at Main Street (261 East 7th Ave.) will receive a complimentary flight of its ‘core four’ beers — Naked Fox IPA, Main Street Pilsner, Fruit Bomb Sour and Kingpin Pale Ale — as well as entry into a series of ‘odd-day’ draws with prizing from Main Street-area merchants taking place December 3 to 25.

Throughout December, Main Street Brewing will also be selling select four-packs of its 473-mL and six-packs of its 355-mL beer in special Main Street holiday gift wrap and themed tags, as well as rolls of the gift wrap for $2, with partial proceeds also donated to The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. Every gift pack purchase will also earn an entry into the odd-day draws.

Draw winners will receive a six-pack of Main Street beer and a $50 gift card to Main Street-area merchants, and every entrant over the age of 19 will also be entered into the grand prize of one flat of Main Street beer a month for a year to be drawn on Christmas Day.

All items collected at the brewery will be delivered in time for Christmas to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, which has been putting smiles on children’s faces throughout the community since 1930. A wish list of preferred toys and donations for a range of ages can be found here: lmcb.ca/donate-toys-gifts. Main Street is also inviting people to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food items at the brewery to be donated to The Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

When: December 1 to 12

First Table's Anniversary initiative supporting the Vancouver Food and Beverage Community

First Table is marking the one-year anniversary of its North American debut in Vancouver by encouraging users to dine out safely and give back this holiday season with a month-long charitable campaign in support of the Vancouver Food and Beverage Community (VANFBC) relief fund. For each booking from now until December 15, First Table will donate $5 to the VANFBC, a hyper-local community focused program providing financial assistance to hospitality workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis or are unable to work due to medical issues or unforeseen circumstances. Guests can support a local restaurant by dining out – for a great price – all while supporting the hospitality industry at large!

When: Now until December 15

Indigenous Feast Boxes

Executive Chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther, owner of Feast Café Bistro from Peguis First Nation and Board member of Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN), has launched Indigenous Feast Boxes, a fundraising campaign designed to support Indigenous chefs across Canada and their teams by providing precious meal kits to Indigenous families and community members in need this holiday season. 

This campaign is live on GoFundMe and will run until December 18, 2020.

To bring the campaign to life, ICAN enlisted the support of a roster of talented Indigenous chefs and restaurants from across Canada. Using local ingredients and inspiring the box’s contents by their Indigenous heritage and contemporary flair, each chef will create Indigenous Feast Boxes valued at a minimum of $50.00 each for a family or group of four to six people. Families will receive boxes partially or fully prepared with recipes and cooking instructions detailing the significance of the ingredients chosen that reflect their unique culture and personality. The chefs handpicked local Indigenous community groups to distribute the Feast Boxes to those most in need.  

In Vancouver, those partner chefs are Mr. Bannock Catering led by chef Paul Natrall distributed by Dude’s Club and Salmon ‘n Bannock Restaurant team led by owner Inez Cook distributed by Helping Spirit Lodge Society.

When: Now through Dec. 18

Havana: Nochebuena meal kits: Supporting Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre

Commercial Drive's Havana can help you spice up the season with their special meal kits. Called Nochebuena - named for a Latin American traditional Christmas Eve feast - the meal kits are designed for two people to enjoy, and are packed with delicious eats like Lechon Asado (roasted pork), mashed sweet potato, Spanish yellow rice, Guiso de Berenjena (Eggplant + Tomato Stew), and pumpkin flan for dessert.  Priced at $60, partial proceeds of each meal kit will be donated to the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre to support their 2021 programming. Guests can also choose to add a Coquito cocktail pairing - a Puerto Rican “Eggnog” with Spiced Rum, Cream of Coconut, Condensed Milk, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Egg - for an additional $25 per 1L bottle. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced from Havana’s preferred suppliers. These meal kits are available now but with limited supply. Pick up is for Dec. 23 and 24. 

When: While supplies last; pick-up Dec. 23-24

Anthem Pizza: Corner Gas-themed pizzas support Unison Benevolent Fund

Anthem_CornerGas Pizza_7Photo courtesy Anthem Pizza

Inspired by a recent announcement from Corner Gas Animated creator and Canadian comedian Brent Butt that revealed the release of a new Christmas anthem co-written and performed by Craig Northey of the Odds called Everyone Can Sing at Christmas’, Anthem is dropping two new pizzas — ‘The Brent’ and ‘The Craig’ — and limited-edition Corner Gas-themed boxes and T-shirts from Anthem’s current artist-in-residence David Bircham in their honour.

‘The Brent’ is an instant classic combining crumbled sausage, spinach, mushroom, garlic and shredded mozza, while ‘The Craig’ lays down a lighter, vegan vibe with toppings that include artichokes, zucchini, red peppers, black olives, red onions, dairy-free pesto, vegan cheese, and dukkah spice. Both of the tribute pizzas ($24) and the limited-edition T-shirts — which are available online for $25 each plus tax and shipping or local delivery in Corner Gas boxes —are only available on the Anthem menu for a limited time until Saturday, December 26. 

10% of proceeds from the limited edition sales will be donated to the Unison Benevolent Fund, which helps Canadian musicians in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties by providing counselling and emergency relief services.

When: Now through Dec. 26 

Cause We Care

The goal of the annual Care Package Drive is to fill and distribute 1,000 holiday care packages to families in need across the Lower Mainland. And in partnership with RayCam Cooperative Centre, to provide a festive family meal ‘to-go,’ to 200 in place of the annual RayCam Holiday Dinner

Lead sponsor Capital Direct will give $1 for every $2 donated on the first $70,000 donated, meaning that thanks to their incredible generosity every dollar donated will go even further. Donate $110 before December 7 to purchase a Care Package (valued at over $250) for a family in need this Christmas and Capital Direct will add to that donation meaning $110 becomes $165 providing further support for families that need it most. 

Also new this year, Herschel Supply Company have generously donated 1,000 brightly coloured backpacks to be filled with a $100 grocery gift card from Save-On-Foods (Cambie Street), warm winter mittens and hats from Aritzia, and other essentials and treats like granola bars, tea and chocolate. Cause We Care’s annual Care Package Drive would normally bring together more than a hundred volunteers over two days. This year's event has been significantly adjusted to put the health and safety of volunteers and the community at the forefront, while still positively impacting as many families as possible. By providing a $100 Save-On grocery gift card in place of individual items, considerably less volunteers are needed for packing and the Foundation will only require volunteer drivers for safe deliveries.

To help Cause We Care reach the goal of assembling and delivering 1,000 care packages to over 35 frontline organizations and to provide festive meals for 200 Strathcona residents, donate online today and bring hope and joy to a family in need. Donations of $125 include a holiday Care Package, as well as a festive  meal for a family in need courtesy Hawksworth restaurant. 

Tacofino’s ‘Shift Change’ new ‘Speakers For Change’ online workshop series

Tacofino is continuing its commitment to improving the quality of life for those in the hospitality and foodservice industry while also raising much-needed funds for local causes by taking its Shift Change initiative online for a series of ‘Speakers for Change’ workshops. A series of four one-hour Zoom sessions, Speakers for Change will be held monthly from November through February 2021 and will involve local community leaders looking to inspire positive, sustainable change in the industry. The sessions are free of charge for the participants to make it accessible for all and Tacofino will donate $1,250 per session to the keynote speaker’s charity or cause of choice for a total contribution of $5,000. The next Speakers For Change session — which involves a discussion on ‘Queer Competency for the Hospitality Industry’ — takes place Tuesday, December 8 at 3 p.m.

When: Monthly through Feb. 2021

Know of another great food business fundraising initiative that's happening this month in Metro Vancouver? Reach out to lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com via email with the details.