The Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank was started in 1996 and has been serving a growing number of residents with donated food ever since. In 2012, they launched a food recovery program that enabled the food bank to recover and re-distribute near expiry food to those in need. In 2015, the Food Bank acquired a new 6,000 sq. ft. warehouse for $425,000 (plus renovation costs of $125,000). Funding for the warehouse came primarily from the City of Nanaimo and the Port of Nanaimo. However, local residents provided almost $50,000.
The new warehouse provides a number of important benefits, including enabling clients to choose which foods they receive, allowing volunteers to be able to work indoors, making it possible to avoid storing food outdoors, and allowing more grocery stores to participate in the food recovery program.