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Project Title

Are healthier foods more expensive?

Project Description

This is a pricing project of select food items. The food bank will provide a list of 10-20 shelf stable products that we are interested in distributing to our members. The students will then compare brands for each of the products from a broad range of retail stores and collect/photograph the,

  • Brand
  • The store the pricing information came from
  • The price of these items at retail
  • UPC code
  • Product size
  • Ingredient and nutrition facts table

The students will then enter these foods into our in-house dietitian approved ranking system and analyze the findings.

Project Goal

Price is important for our food insecure membership as they have limited funds to purchase foods. This project will help us to try and answer the question, “Are healthier foods more expensive?” We also chose shelf stable products because fresh fruit and vegetables are by their nature are more nutritious.

Skills Preferred + To Be Developed

Accuracy and sustained focus:

  • Getting permission from retail grocery stores to collect data.
  • Being quick and efficient so as not to interfere in the retailers’ daily operations.
  • Collecting, entering data, analyzing and graphing data. Data cannot be selective (picking just high prices or just low prices—the sample needs to be representative from across different retailers).
  • Report writing and sharing the final report with the food bank.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Data collection will be done at grocery stores
  • Data analysis will initially be done at the GVFB Head Office/Warehouse location, located at 1150 Raymur Avenue in Vancouver.

Project Location

Students will have access to GVFB staff at the GVFB Head Office/Warehouse location: Tuesday to Thursday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Project / partner orientation


  • Sampling Procedure Development Report, by Kevin Elsaputra, University Of British Columbia, Masters Of Food And Resource Economics. AUGUST 22, 2016.
  • GVFB Quality of Food Guidelines and Menu Framework.
  • Students to source news articles on the “Welfare Challenge” studies by PROOF etc. to gain perspective on the budget restraints of poverty and the severe limitations of current income assistance levels.

Orientation regarding

  • GVFB’s nutrition goals.
  • GVFG values and how they relate to food access and nutrition.
  • Review of food groups and the reason behind the food items selected for the research study.
  • Introduction to Nutrition Product Ranking Program, our analysis program.

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students



This data is important to us, so please share your findings with us.

Organization Information


Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Mission + Vision

  • VISION: Accessible, healthy, sustainable food for all.
  • MISSION: To create empowering environments that provide and promote acess to healthy food education and training.

Guiding Principles + Values:

Guiding Principles + Values:


  • Accountability: We do what we say and take responsibility for our work and actions. We evaluate our results and our behaviours.
  • Collaboration: We work together for mutual and collective success. We listen and share.
  • Justice: We believe in an equal voice for all. We speak up and out to make a difference.
  • Respect: We value people and our environment. We speak to and treat each other with dignity.
  • Trust: We start from a place of openness. We build lasting relationships.

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Erin Nichols
  • Email:
  • Address: 1150 Raymur Avenue, Vancouver BC
  • Phone: 604-216-3074
  • Website:
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email anytime

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • I hope students will learn about...nutrition, cost, branding and our food system.
  • I think students will come to poverty affects access to nutritious foods at any price.
  • Students will develop an...appreciation for the complexity of the industrial food system and the challenges in accessing it for those who live in poverty.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Greater understanding of the range of nutrition level of shelf stable foods
  • Data that will inform whether or not there is a correlation between nutrition and price in the marketplace.
  • Deeper understanding of the grocery costs for our members.