Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks

dtes kitchen tables

The Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (VNFN) are a network of community organizations committed to promoting food security in neighbourhoods across the City of Vancouver.

VNFN is committed to food equity and access, education, skill building, and advocacy, particularly for community members who are struggling economically. This work is based on the principle that all members of society have the right to quality food. VNFN provides a space for networks to collaborate, share best practices and advocate for food equity & justice, ecologically & culturally sustainable food systems, and community food resilience with a unified voice.

Visit the map to learn about a Neighbourhood Food Network in your community!


  • FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL

    Neighbourhood Food Networks break down barriers that prevent people from accessing nutrient-rich, affordable, and personally acceptable food.

    We increase access to food includes by offering drop-in meal programs, bulk buying clubs, mobile produce markets, emergency food access, community gardens, school gardens, and more.

  • EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT

    Neighbourhood Food Networks share knowledge and resources at every level of the food system through community-based education, advocacy, and research.

    We build food literacy by hosting workshops, community kitchens, lectures, films, and discussions.

  • BUILDING COMMUNITY

    Neighbourhood Food Networks’ celebrations and gatherings involve food to meet physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs.

    Our community events increase awareness around food security and reduce social isolation by helping neighbours meet neighbours.

  • FOOD JUSTICE & SOVEREIGNTY

    Neighbourhood Food Networks amplify and empower the voices of underrepresented communities in the local food system.

    We are working towards decolonizing food practices on Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Updates from VNFN including news and events. For the latest updates from your neighbourhood, please explore the map and visit their website directly.

  • ADAPTING TO CHANGE: COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH RENFREW COLLINGWOOD FOOD JUSTICE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Dignified Food Access, Food Justice, Neighbourhood Food Networks, News, Poverty Reduction, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice // July 30, 2020

    This is the third in a series of blog posts featuring each of our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.


    Founded in 2002, Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice (formerly known as the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute) is a neighbourhood food network that facilitates learning, leadership, and networking for local residents around food sharing, organic growing, food justice, food sovereignty, and nutrition to increase individual, family, and community capacity to attain food security.

    A banner of several small images showing people engaged in food-related activities, along with the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute logo

    Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice focuses on community meals, cooking and nutrition workshops, gardening and urban farming—including workshops and seed-saving. For this food network team, food justice advocacy is an essential aspect of the work.

    “We really try to integrate an approach in all of our programs that is holistically rooted in community development-based, anti-oppressive, and justice-oriented frameworks.”
    “Our work includes expanding beyond just service-provision based work and trying to focus also on advocacy and solidarity work in food justice.”

    Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice

    The pandemic hasn’t stopped the network team from doing good work, like addressing social isolation, lessened nutrition, and food security due to barriers of income, race, language, age, citizenship status.

    Once the COVID-19 restrictions came into place, the network adapted quickly. Resources and staff time dedicated to community kitchens and regular weekly community meal programs have now been redirected to producing frozen meals for weekly emergency food response distribution.

    The network’s urban agriculture programming—including gardening skills workshops—initially shifted to being delivered in online workshop formats like Zoom and through the creation of digital content like pre-recorded videos. Now, some physically distanced in-person urban agriculture activities are resuming on-site at garden spaces.

    “We use the universal experience of food as a connecting point to bring people together for community development.”

    Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice

    The Renfrew-Collingwood Food Justice team aims to continue developing the existing interest—already demonstrated by our community members—in civic engagement, advocacy, and community dialogue around food justice and related issues.

    Learn more about Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, get involved, and celebrate community food action:

  • ADAPTING TO CHANGE: COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH LITTLE MOUNTAIN-RILEY PARK NEIGHBOURHOOD FOOD NETWORK

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Dignified Food Access, Food Hub, Food Justice, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Neighbourhood Food Networks, Poverty Reduction // July 28, 2020

    This is the second in a series of blog posts featuring each of our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network coordinators.


    Joanne MacKinnon has represented Little Mountain Neighbourhood House as their Neighbourhood Food Network and—most recently—as the Community Engagement Coordinator for five years. 

    The food security priorities for the Network are the Riley Park Community Garden, a food asset map and educating the community about food insecurity. The Network addresses food security and community involvement, and brings community members closer through participation, education and events. 

    The Community Garden is an inclusive gathering point reflecting the Network’s core visions to improve food security, ecological sustainability and community development. It is a collective public space where people can engage in co-creation, feel a sense of belonging and ownership, and increase networks.

    Long-term sustainability depends on the development of social capital and the intention to grow produce that may be given back to the community. The garden is a David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway project site, and has drip irrigation to educate about water conservation. The shed is a demonstration of a vertical garden and renewable energy. 

    Before COVID-19, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House provided community meals and food for our clients and members, with almost 7,800 meals and snacks provided each month. These included a hot breakfast for preschool children, a hot lunch for a family drop-in program, snacks for after-school and daycare programs, community kitchens for newcomers, Arabic family and single moms drop-in programs. 

    An image of the poster for the Harvest Matchmaking Program

    When the Neighbourhood House closed in March due to COVID-19, the organization secured funding from Community Food Centres Canada to support vulnerable families and community members  with access to food. More than 470 individuals were served by this program—including more than 170 kids under 18, and more than 175 families.  

    Food hampers were delivered by East West Market, serving 31 families and 26 seniors. The Network’s outreach and engagement to community included: 

    > Starting Garden Guides through a partnership with the SPEC, to provide resources and support on how-to grow your own food in small spaces—like containers and on patios—and in backyard and other community gardens; 

    > a BackYards program where residents have requested to have their yards used for food production, for those who need food support; and,

    > Harvest Matchmaking—which includes providing veggie bags with produce from the Network’s gardens, urban farmers and farmers market vendors.

    > The monthly Donation Station at the Riley Park Farmers Market has re-started, and the Network is grateful for the support of the community with funds, and farmers with produce. 

    “The video provided by Garden Guides have truly helped me start my own garden. They are a great tool for any gardening but it was especially helpful to me as a beginner. There are so many knowledgeable people in the community willing to share their skills. Thanks to Riley Park Garden Guides team the information is directly accessible wherever you are.”

    Esme Stumborg, Urban Ethnographic Field School 2020 Cohort

    Phase 2 emergency food access is underway. Little Mountain Neighbourhood House is now a Food Bank Hub and with funding from the United Way as a Local Love Food Hub, and Community Food Centres Canada with grocery gift cards, the Food Network is able to serve 1,925 vulnerable people in the community. 

    I have received food products delivered to me. I am very moved by your compassion towards the elderly such as myself. I would like to express my sincere thanks to you. Wishing you a wonderful and safe summer.

    Thank you card from a neighbour

    Learn more, celebrate community food action, and get involved with Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood Food Network:

    Visit the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House website: https://web2.lmnhs.bc.ca/community-programs

  • ADAPTING TO CHANGE: COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH WESTSIDE FOOD COLLABORATIVE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Dignified Food Access, Events, Food Hub, Food Justice, Mobile Markets, News, Poverty Reduction, Westside Food Collaborative // July 21, 2020

    This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring each of our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network coordinators.


    Hillary Ko (she, her, hers) is Chinese-Canadian and a true Vancouverite. She represents the Westside Food Collaborative, which serves a very large area in Vancouver. Often, the West side is seen as an affluent area but parts of these communities do experience food insecurity and is often unseen or unaddressed.

    The Westside Food Collaborative is a Neighbourhood Food Network of community members and organizations working in just and sustainable food systems on Vancouver’s Westside, based out of Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

    An image that says Celebrate Community Food Action, with photos of food

    This Network seeks to bring key organizations and community members to the table in order to understand barriers to food access in Vancouver’s Westside and to work towards addressing these barriers.

    For Hillary, community development and empowerment is what’s most important about working with Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.

    “It is amazing to see the community come together to support each other and work together to address needs of the vulnerable population,” says Hillary. “I want to continue building connections and getting different partners to support each other in addressing the barriers to food security.”

    Food insecurity is one of the greatest needs in Vancouver that the Westside Food Collaborative strives to address, and typically the Network engages in gardening, food distribution, community meals, and cooking and nutrition workshops. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the network’s ability to respond to increasing needs.

    An outdoor image of Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, showing tables filled with grocery bags.

    When public gatherings were no longer possible, the Network began engaging in food recovery and offering a weekly emergency food response program. “Many have told us that our service of providing one hot meal and one large grocery bag helps them get through the week,” says Hillary. “It’s also the only time some people get out of their house and connect with other neighbours.”

    From a young age, Hillary understood the power of food, and this informs her work to support community food security.

    “Food has always been a big part of my life,” she says. “My best memories about food are when I learned how to make traditional Cantonese dishes with my grandma and when I invite friends and family over to make and eat food together.”

    An image of a person forming a large batch of Chinese dumplings.

    Challenges & Goals

    The greatest challenges facing neighbours of the Westside Food Collaborative are isolation and lack of community. Many people, especially seniors, are experiencing isolation and depression during this time. “We cannot reopen programs any time soon due to COVID measures,” Hillary explains, “but in the future, this is something that the Network will try to address by using food as the vehicle for community building.”

    The Westside Food Collaborative hopes to connect with organizations and businesses in the area that are providing services during COVID-19 and work together towards a more coordinated approach to community emergency responses.

    Learn more about Westside Food Collaborative and celebrate community food action:

  • FOOD JUSTICE REQUIRES RACIAL JUSTICE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Cedar Cottage Food Network, Dignified Food Access, Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Food Justice, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Marpole Oakridge Neighbourhood Food Network, Migrant Justice, Mount Pleasant Food Network, Neighbourhood Food Networks, Poverty Reduction, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, South Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network, Westside Food Collaborative // June 5, 2020

    The Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks’ ongoing commitment to food justice and food sovereignty means committing to racial justice.

    We stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Peoples.

  • 2020 ROGER INMAN MEMORIAL AWARD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: News // March 2, 2020

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are proud and grateful to have been chosen as a runner-up for the 2020 Roger Inman Memorial Award. This annual award is given by CCEC Credit Union in recognition of a project that has made a significant contribution to the economic development of the community. CCEC is committed to keeping our money and resources working in our community by actively supporting and promoting the development of strong, successful community businesses, projects and organizations.

    The award honours the memory of Roger Inman, a past president of CCEC, whose contributions to the wellbeing of the credit union were numerous. Roger became a member when CCEC first opened in 1976 and shortly after began serving as a volunteer teller. He was also a member of the credit committee, and later joined the Board of Directors where he served as co-chair and spearheaded the newsletter. A warm lovable man, Roger always contributed his time, insights, and humour to the many community initiatives with which he was involved. He was also active in local politics where his keen mind and natural optimism were always appreciated. Through this award, we acknowledge his devotion to community economic development, his commitment to his ideals and his generosity in spirit.

    Thank you CCEC and congratulations to the 2020 winner – The Peoples Prom!

  • CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF COMMUNITY FOOD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Cedar Cottage Food Network, Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Dignified Food Access, Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Food Justice, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Marpole Oakridge Neighbourhood Food Network, Mount Pleasant Food Network, Neighbourhood Food Networks, News, Poverty Reduction, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, Reports, South Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network, Westside Food Collaborative // November 13, 2019

    As 2019 comes to a close, the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks continues to celebrate 25 years of delivering food programs for our neighbours.

    In 1993, Strathcona Community Centre started their first breakfast program and from there, we have grown to a coalition of 15 Neighbourhood Food Networks across Vancouver to meet the needs of those who face barriers to food security. We have provided food literacy, food skills workshops, community lunches and dinners, community kitchens, gardening programs and have shared many meals and celebrations with our neighbours.

    Thank you so much for joining us on our adventures these past years, and here’s to many more together!

  • VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOOD FOOD NETWORKS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF LOCAL FOOD WITH SUSTENANCE FESTIVAL

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Events, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Mount Pleasant Food Network, News, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // September 20, 2019

    This September marks the 10th annual Sustenance Festival, a food, art & culture celebration which brings community groups, artists, and advocates together who use food and art to cultivate dialogue, celebrate traditions, and push for social change.

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have been longtime supporters of Sustenance Festival and are excited to participate again this year as community partners.

    Feasting for Change includes stories from the community about how Neighbourhood Food Networks have impacted their lives. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    The 2019 Sustenance Festival program features the Feasting for Change exhibit at Roundhouse Community Centre. Centring Indigenous perspectives and curated by Dawn Morrison of Wild Salmon Caravan, this art exhibit explores themes of regeneration in relation to wild salmon and holistic perspectives on food, culture, and healing.

    Feasting For Change features visual art by csetkwe. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    Last week, the Sustenance Festival launch and Feasting For Change exhibit opening followed traditional Coast Salish protocol to honour the work of contributing artists, community groups, and matriarchs from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Volunteers served food by Kurdish- and Ugandan-Canadian women as guests appreciated drumming led by Sto:lo elder Eddie Gardner and original music by local singer-songwriter Ava Caldwell.

    Art installations include Wild Salmon Caravan bike floats. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    The exhibit gallery also features work from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks. It highlights the VNFN’s 25-year history of community food initiatives and stories of change from people in our local communities.

    Kaitlyn, Erica, and Ian from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks at the Feasting for Change exhibit opening.

    In recent years, Sustenance Festival has worked hard to uplift issues of food justice which persist locally and impact a wide range of marginalized communities in Vancouver. Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks’ work brings an important neighbourhood-focus to local food issues.

    This year, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks events at Sustenance include:

    Other upcoming Sustenance Festival events at Roundhouse Community Centre include a workshop on cooking with Chinatown dried goods and a panel discussion exploring cultural perspectives on food waste.

    Sustenance Festival runs from September through October. All programming is free or low-cost and led by non-profit community groups and community centres. See the full program of events at sustenancefestival.ca


    Sustenance Festival is an annual initiative of the Arts, Culture & Engagement team at the Vancouver Parks Board which features food, art, and culture events such as family-friendly celebrations, workshops, and dialogues. This festival centers community food traditions alongside artists, activists, community groups, and social service organizations across the City of Vancouver.

  • WE ARE HIRING!

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Job Opportunities, News // August 20, 2019

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (VNFNs) are looking to hire a highly-organized individual with a passion for food justice and community development.

    This self-directed individual will organize and facilitate a community of practice for food security professionals across Vancouver.

    This role will support the primary organizational objectives of 1) Operations and Administration, 2) Communications, and 3) Financial sustainability.

    Type of position: Part-time position at 16 hours/week. Flexible schedule and potential for increased hours. 1-year contract to start, with option for extension.
    Start date: Early October 2019
    Compensation: $28.00 per hour
    Location: Vancouver-based work and remote work from home

    See details of this job posting here.

    Work with food security practitioners who are leading grassroots food initiatives across the City of Vancouver.

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are composed of 15 food security organizations and social service agencies across Vancouver who gather bi-monthly to share best practices. Members of the VNFNs collaborate on community-based food initiatives and programs to support food access and resilience at the neighbourhood level. With a unified voice, VNFNs advocate for food justice through a poverty reduction lens.

  • FIRST-EVER IMPACT REPORT SPOTLIGHTS 109,900 MEALS SHARED IN COMMUNITY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: News, Reports // June 26, 2019

    Inaugural impact report from Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks highlights city-wide food security efforts in 2018

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 26, 2019  

    VANCOUVER, BC– Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks provided affordable meals, food skills programs, and social connections to over 30,000 people in 2018, as indicated in their inaugural impact report.

    “This report has been a long time coming,” says community food programmer Ian Marcuse from Grandview Woodland Food Connection at Britannia Community Centre. “We have seen a significant spike in use of our food services in recent years. With the rising cost of rent and food, families are forced to cut costs wherever possible. This impact report from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks provides crucial data on food access and services city-wide.”

    Diverse group of women participate in a community kitchen at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
    Program participants learn new food skills and share meals together.

    Combining the need for affordable meals with the need for more social spaces in Vancouver, Vancouver Food Networks served more than 109,000 community meals in 2018, according to the report. On average, these meals cost between $3.00 to $7.00 and offered an affordable menu of seasonal and cultural home-style dishes.

    Beyond serving meals, the report indicates Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks coordinated over 1,100 skill-building workshops, which generate lasting effects on community members’ well being: “I have grown because I cook better…when you cook and it’s really good and healthy, you feel proud and you get the courage to try new things,” shares a workshop participant from Mount Pleasant Food Network.

    Read the full impact report for more details on Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network’s city-wide initiatives in 2018, including fresh food distribution, seasonal celebrations, community and school gardens, and more.

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are made up of 15 community organizations committed to promoting food security across Vancouver. Based on the belief that all members of society have the right to quality food, they are committed to food equity and access, education, skill building, and advocacy, particularly for community members who struggle economically.

    -30-

    Contact: Erica Isomura, Communications and Network Developer
    info@vancouverfoodnetworks.com

  • JOB OPPORTUNITIES

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Job Opportunities, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, News, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, Westside Food Collaborative // May 8, 2019

    Interested in working in food security?

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are currently hiring.

    Permanent full-time positions:

    Food Security Coordinator, Strathcona Community Centre – deadline May 15, 2019

    Part-time contracts:

    Indigenous Youth Cook, Britannia Community Centre – applications accepted until position filled

    Neighbourhood Network Developer (Community Food Liaison), Collingwood Neighbourhood House – deadline June 7, 2019 at noon.

    Current youth opportunities through Canada Summer Jobs:

    Riley Park Community Garden & Education Coordinator, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House – deadline May 30, 2019 or until filled

    Riley Park Community Garden Communications Coordinator, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House – deadline May 30, 2019 or until filled

    Summer Breakfast Program Assistant, Strathcona Community Centre – deadline June 11, 2019 or until filled

    Schoolyard Gardener, Grandview Woodland Food Connection – deadline June 7, 2019 or until filled

    Food Programs Assistant, Gordon Neighbourhood House – deadline May 31, 2019

    Urban Farming Assistant, Gordon Neighbourhood House – deadline May 31, 2019

    Community Engagement Assistant, Kits Neighbourhood House – deadline May 22, 2019

    Community Food Facilitator, Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (Collingwood Neighbourhood House) – deadline May 10, 2019

    Assistant Seed Librarian and Community Gardener, Village Vancouver – deadline June 27, 2019

    Administrative and Programming Assistant, Village Vancouver – deadline June 27, 2019


    For more information about each Neighbourhood Food Network, please see the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks map. Visit individual Neighbourhood Food Network websites for other employment and volunteer opportunities.

    This posting has been updated as of May 10, 2019.

Donate

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks’ supporters help make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people across Vancouver. Thank you to each of our donors and core funders. You help us create innovative and important food programs for our communities.

Donations of $15 and over can be issued a tax receipt. If you'd like to set up a monthly donation, please contact us below.

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