The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) policy changes, advertised on their website as “Client Re-Registration,” were set to come into effect on April 1, 2020. The Re-Registration process identifies a number of original documents that clients must bring to the GVFB head office, in Burnaby, in order to continue receiving food. These documents include current government-issued photo ID, proof of address, and proof of low income (2019 Notice of Assessment or three months’ worth of income verification documents). Photocopies are prohibited.
These new requirements implemented by the GVFB clearly discriminate against people who are disadvantaged because of poverty, homelessness, or reliance on government assistance. Cumulatively, stigma and exclusion stemming from these realms may be understood as discrimination based on “social condition.” The Client Re- Registration Process is a high-barrier process that will effectively de-register clients who may have been previously eligible for services and exclude potential clients who cannot obtain the prescribed documents.