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Quest Food Exchange - Food Programs to Reduce Hunger with Dignity in a Totally Accessible Environment

Quest Food Exchange is British Columbia’s largest not-for-profit food exchange program. They offer access to affordable and healthy food choices for those facing barriers to this basic necessity. In partnering with food suppliers, social service agencies, and community stakeholders, they have fine-tuned their social enterprise model to become a hub of food redistribution in the Lower Mainland. Their programs are seen as essential to marginalized individuals as they transition themselves towards self-sufficiency.
 
As of the date of this posting, Quest Food Exchange has designed one of its four locations with accessibility and independence in mind for its members who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted. The idea originated from Eddy Morten who is deafblind and his inspiration and contributions are outlined in a Youtube video (Quest Food Exchange is currently investigating the feasibility of adding a descriptive narration track to this video). Their location at 2020 Dundas Street in Vancouver includes a tactile floor plan of the market, braille signage at the head of each grocery aisle and additional braille signage throughout the store. Customers with vision loss may use a portable audio bar code scanner which announces brand name, product, package size and current price as they select different products from the shelf. When checking out, customers with vision loss may ask the cashier to verbally announce the price of each item prior to scanning to keep them well informed.
 
While their Dundas Street location is currently the only one of their four locations which offers this level of accessibility, Quest Food Exchange plans to elevate their Burnaby location to this same level by mid-2015. Read more about Quest Food Exchange and how you may qualify for membership through a local social agency, including CNIB.
 
Posted: November 1, 2014

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