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.
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.
The end of the summer is coming soon! To wrap up the growing season, South Vancouver Food Network is hosting two upcoming workshops, Gardening 101 and Therapeutic Gardening.
These free workshops take place at the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and are open to all members of the community.
For more information or to register for a workshop, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, call at 604-324-6212, or register at reception.
Curious about how to grow and maintain your own garden throughout the Fall? Victoria from Fresh Roots will tell us all about garden planning, building healthy soil, seed sowing, seasonal care (including fall and winter maintenance), and more! This Gardening 101 workshop will also offer a hands-on activity.
Date: August 20th (Monday)
Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (6470 Victoria Dr.)
Gardening can be a therapeutic activity for many people including seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers. In partnership with George Pearson Centre, Farmers on 57th specializes in growing food and building communities with residents living with disabilities. Sarah from Farmers on 57th will introduce participants to the benefits of therapeutic gardening and how to make it more accessible for those with limited mobility.
Date: August 21st (Tuesday)
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (6470 Victoria Dr.)
This year, Village Vancouver is hosting their 2nd annual Westside Food Festival. While more than halfway through the festival, there are still dozens of activities to come from now until August 9. This festival takes place in locations throughout the westside of Vancouver: Fairview-False Creek, Marpole-Oakridge, Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, and West Point Grey.
These workshops and activities are part of Village Vancouver’s ongoing Building Community Food Security and Resilience Project. Village Vancouver’s work “inspires individuals and organizations to take actions that build resilient and sustainable communities.” They operate as a knowledge and resource hub to bring people together over issues of social, environmental, and economic change.
Community seed libraries have sprung up around the world to create alternatives to the globalized farming industry. Locals in Vancouver have joined the global “Seed Sharing Movement” and established a number of seed libraries across the city. These seed libraries offer a variety of locally grown and climate-adapted seed specifically for our region. Additionally, they offer resources and tools to grow and save one’s own seed.
Seed art at Nexways wa lh7aynexw “Transformed Life” Britannia School Gardens
According to local seed saving project Borrow Save Share, we have lost between 75-90% of global crop diversity, including many heirloom and heritage crop varieties. As a result, our food crops are far less resilient in face of environmental disaster and extreme weather conditions.
While farmers and growers have saved and shared seeds for thousands of years, this practice has declined in recent years with the rise of a global food system. The global food system currently relies on the practice of monoculture farming, which encourages intensively growing a single crop on a large scale.
Village Vancouver and Grandview Woodlands Food Connection recently collaborated to start the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library.
In Vancouver, we are lucky to have a number of dedicated individuals and community groups who offer free or low-cost #SeedySaturday events and provide educational resources.
Beyond preserving seed diversity, one of the goals is to “increase self-reliance and community resilience by focusing on community seed saving as opposed to large commercial seed suppliers,” says Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library.
Read on for a list of local seed libraries across Vancouver.
The South Vancouver Food Hub will replace the South Vancouver Food Bank, formerly held at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. The South Vancouver Food Bank served an estimate of 160 households each week, including 35% seniors and 8% families with young children.
The new food hub is located at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, 6470 Victoria Drive (at 49th Avenue) on Tuesdays from 10am-12pm. (This excludes the week when provincial Social Assistance cheques are issued).
This move to the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House enables individuals to connect to programs and services such as settlement support, family programs, language classes, seniors’ services, and other resources.
For more information about individual Neighbourhood Food Networks or their organizations, please visit the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks map. Visit individual Neighbourhood Food Network websites for other current employment and volunteer opportunities.
This posting has been updated as of June 25, 2018.
This month, we are excited to highlight the work of our member, Gordon Neighbourhood House in the West End neighbourhood.
Let’s Get Growing! Urban Farm Program volunteers at Gordon House
Part of Gordon Neighbourhood House’s food philosophy is to work towards increased food access in the neighbourhood.
This means sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible. Last year, farmer and community programmer Joey Liu led a team of 45 volunteers to grow and harvest over 350 lbs of produce for Gordon Neighbourhood House.
Their harvests included a wide range of veggies, including bok choy, tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, salad greens, beets, broccoli, beans, peas, leeks, turnips, kale, kohlrabi, basil, and cucumbers.
These fresh vegetables supplemented Gordon House’s community lunch program, which serves healthy and affordable meals for less than $5.
Now that spring has arrived, a new growing season is starting up again. Gordon House is growing at three urban garden sites in the West End and caring for ten community herb boxes.
The community herb boxes provide the public with access to free herbs all-year long.
This month, we are excited to highlight the work of our network member, Cedar Cottage Food Network in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood.
Cedar Cottage Food Network’s longest running and most popular program is their mobile markets.
Mobile markets travel throughout the Kensington-Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood to set-up pop-up produce markets.
The goal of this program is to increase food access in the community and tackle issues of both affordability and physical access.
Mobile markets address affordability by selling fresh, affordable produce, that is local and organic whenever possible, at a subsidized rate of 70% of wholesale costs.
They tackle issues of physical access by bringing the market to the community at multiple locations, addressing issues of food deserts (places where there are no nearby grocery stores) and travel for seniors and those with disabilities.
Cedar Cottage Food Network is now presenting a brand new market on the fourth Thursday of the month.
This map highlights the many food resources available across Vancouver neighbourhoods.
Mapping food assets helps highlight the strengths, gaps and areas for improvement in our local food systems.
Community service providers (such as yourself!) can use these maps to help themselves or their clients access food, enhance food literacy, and build community connections. We invite you to come be a part of an exciting project to help improving food accessibility in your local community!
Join us at our upcoming tutorial events where we will show you how to use the Vancouver Food Asset Map, including:
Step by step instructions on how to use the map
Commonly asked questions – explained
Take home multi-lingual instructions for distribution
Monday, March 5th, 2018
Strathcona Community Centre – Activity Room
601 Keefer Street. Vancouver BC, V6A 3V8 RSVP here.
This session will be led by Lauren Brown of the Strathcona Community Centre and Kathy Romses of Vancouver Coastal Health
Friday, March 16, 2018
Carnegie Community Centre – Auditorium
401 Main Street. Vancouver BC, V6A 2T7 RSVP here.
This session will be led by Dounia Saeme of the Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables Project and Kathy Romses of Vancouver Coastal Health
Food & drink (vegetarian options available) will provided. Please register in advance as space is limited.
The cause of local food insecurity is deeply intertwined with the roots of poverty. As individuals and families in Vancouver are increasingly unable to afford the rising cost of living, they are forced to make hard decisions about their food choices. While empowering people with skills and knowledge is important, we must also address the many root causes that contribute to food insecurity.
Community pressure has pushed the government to commit to a poverty reduction strategy. Now we need community action to ensure that it’s a strong plan with legislated targets and timelines. You can be a part of this effort to make BC’s government take action against poverty.
The BC government is currently asking British Columbian residents about what should be included in a Poverty Reduction Strategy. It’s now more important than ever that the provincial government hear our collective voice loud and clear highlighting the pillars of a strong, comprehensive poverty reduction plan.
Use the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s easy email form to send a message to the government consultations.
They have put together a guide sharing the key messages and policies to highlight in the consultations.
Nominees for the Roger Inman award: VNFN members with Raise the Rates and Sanctuary Health
Last night, the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks attended the CCEC Credit Union AGM as a shortlisted nominee for the Roger Inman Memorial Award, which is given annually in recognition of a project that has made a significant contribution to the economic development of the community. (more…)