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Complaints Policy

Policy Statement 

This policy, guiding principles and procedures apply to complaints received by Food Banks BC about all aspects of our operations, including activities, service, staff and volunteers.  It also applies to complaints received by Food Banks BC about the activities, service, staff and volunteers of our member Food Banks throughout the province.  While Food Banks BC is not a regulatory or supervisory body, it is an expectation of Food Banks BC that the staff and volunteers of both Food Banks BC and Member Food Banks abide by the Food Banks BC Code of Conduct and Commitment to Ethics and will apply those standards in the resolution of complaints.  


Guiding Principles 

  • All complaints will be dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible. 

  • Review of complaints will be fair, impartial and respectful of all parties involved.  

  • Complaints will be directed to the person or service provider most able to directly and expeditiously address the concern. 

  • Complainants will be provided the basis for decisions and outcomes relating to their complaint. 

  • Complaints will be used to assist in improving service, policies and procedures. 



A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or concern about the service, action or lack of action by Food Banks BC or a Member Food Bank.  Examples may include (but are not limited to); 

  • Perceived failure to deliver agreed-upon services, 

  • Failure to uphold policies and procedures, 

  • Error made by staff member or volunteer, 

  • Unfair or discourteous conduct by a staff member or volunteer. 


Complaints will be received from those individuals who are personally and directly affected by the action and complainants will be expected to identify themselves when bringing forward their complaint. 


Complaint Receipt 

A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail or email).  Any representative of Food Banks BC who receives a complaint should direct the complaint to the Executive Director who will determine the most appropriate person (which may be a Food Banks BC staff or board member, or someone external to the organization) to handle the complaint and redirect it to that person, letting both the recipient and the complainant know about this action undertaken. The person to whom the complaint has been directed for resolution is most frequently the one with the specific knowledge and capacity to address the issue. It is the responsibility of the person in the food banking organization who is receiving the complaints for action to either resolve it or undertake to find a resolution from a source most able to address it.  



Complaints received should be acknowledged within 2 business days and if possible, staff should undertake to begin resolution within that same timeframe. Every effort should be made to resolve complaints in a timely fashion. For complaints regarding a member organization, Food Banks BC will request that the member organization provides details to Food Banks BC about how and when the complaint will be resolved. 



Food Banks BC will keep and maintain a complaint tracking system.  At Food Banks BC basic information must be recorded immediately as the complaint is received in order to help with accuracy, accountability and understanding of the complaint.  


Information recorded will include;  


  • The name of the complainant and their contact information,  

  • A brief description of complaint and source of concern,  

  • The name of the receiver of the complaint, any referrals for resolution,  

  • Outcome if determined, and 

  • Time frame.  


An annual summary of complaints will be presented to the Board of Directors of Food Banks BC, which will include the number, type, and disposition of the complaints received over the previous 12 months, in sufficient detail for board members to understand the overall nature and impact of complaints received. 

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