Harvest Project was founded in 1993 by David Foster, then a West Vancouver resident. After achieving success in business, he experienced several serious life challenges. He found himself collecting welfare and using the food bank for several months. David stated, “through God’s grace, family support and those willing to provide a hand-up, I found a new direction”. He dedicated his life to providing for the needs of others. The formation of the Change the World Foundation followed with a focus on changing the world, beginning in our own backyard.
The Foundation built public awareness and community involvement projects to help those seen to be ‘not yet fortunate’ rather than ‘less fortunate’. From David’s early experiences with welfare and food banks, and after speaking with many caught in the destructive cycles of dependency or economic dislocation, Harvest Project was created as a resource for those in need. Those involved in the organization set out to create solutions to poverty as it is experienced in Metro-Vancouver’s North Shore community. We began to welcome visitors in a space supplied by The City of North Vancouver in Lower Lonsdale, through the 1990′s.
Harvest Project operated from a facility on Bewicke Avenue in North Vancouver from 2001 until the close of 2010 when we were able to lease a new space at 1073 Roosevelt Crescent in the District of North Vancouver. During 2011, we renovated this empty shell into a 8000 square foot client-care hub – providing much more efficient and less costly space to enable programs for those in need.
While the community enjoys overall prosperity, current visitors to Harvest Project reflect the make-up of the North Shore – including young families, individuals, newcomers, and those with chronic health issues. The high cost of housing, the realities of single-parent families, and the challenging job-market, have contributed to intensify the struggles for many who now live on the margins within our neighbourhoods.
Recent surveys show that thousands of North Shore residents are forced to spend more than sixty-percent of family income on accommodation. This situation can force parents to choose between remaining housed and providing food for their families. A crisis within the household means that many people need to reach out for ‘a hand up’ to regain stability and wholeness in daily life. Harvest Project provides that life-saving help to hundreds of people each month.