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Employee Feature - Reducing waste and helping those in need

NOVAGOLD Vancouver office manager Gia Tran has been a volunteer for the Lotus Light Charity Society since 2007, contributing to the local community and helping others in a time of need. Gia started the Lotus Light Food Recovery Program, which provides over 150,000 pounds of food to benefit low-income meal programs and charity soup kitchens. Today, the program donates 10,000 pounds of food each month from warehouses, restaurants, bakeries, and grocery chains.

“So many working-class families and individuals are struggling to afford housing and life’s necessities in general, and now it’s worse due to record inflation. Many are just unable to make ends meet. I see these weekly food recovery efforts as a great opportunity for us to give back and help save perfectly good food from going to our landfills,” said Gia.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gia initiated several projects to help communities across metro Vancouver. In 2020, she started the Lotus Light COVID-19 Community Caring Drive, distributing over 390,000 pounds of food to emergency food hubs, independent food banks, community kitchens, and school meal programs. She obtained funding to start and operate the Lotus Light Emergency Kitchen, which has provided over 20,000 nutritious hot meals, fruits, and snacks for the homeless and seniors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighborhood. She also initiated the Lotus Light Hand Sanitizers Project, distributing over 1.25 million pounds of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes to hundreds of charities and organizations. She was instrumental in securing funding for the Lotus Light Mask Drive, which distributed more than 25,000 masks to low-income families, frontline hospital workers, homeless shelters, seniors, and schools and community centers.

This is only a fraction of the work that Gia does throughout the year. She finds great joy in connecting with people at work, in the industry, and through her community. Her contributions and devotion to the community have been extraordinary, and we are very grateful to have her working at NOVAGOLD.



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