AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Events, News, Poverty Reduction // February 26, 2018

    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.

    For inspiration, check out our submission here.


    Community Meetings

    Community Meetings are going to be scheduled across the province to consult with British Columbian residents about what should be included in the Poverty Reduction Strategy. We will share more details about these community meetings as soon as we have them. You can also visit the government’s site for updates on what they’re doing.

    Friendship Centres are also organizing Indigenous Poverty Reduction Consultations across the province. For more information, click here.

    The government is offering supports to help you participate, including transportation, child care, disability and health supports, as well as secure storage for belongings. If you need supports to participate, you can contact contact Lara Therrien Boulos by phone at 604 718-8504 or email: ltboulos@sparc.bc.ca


    Vancouver, Session 1:
    Date: Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018
    Location: Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, 920 E Hastings Street
    Time: Doors open at 10 a.m. The community meeting runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Notes: A hot meal will be provided.

    Vancouver, Session 2:
    Date: Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018
    Location: Heritage Hall – 3102 Main Street
    Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The community meeting runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Notes: A hot meal will be provided. 



    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Events, Food Justice, Migrant Justice, News, Poverty Reduction // February 8, 2018

    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.

    Congratulations to Sanctuary Health who took home first prize for Roger Inman Memorial Award. They are doing really important work to support refugee and migrant health in Vancouver. It was an honour to be shortlisted alongside them and Raise the Rates, who are both doing really significant advocacy work.

    Thanks again to CCEC for the recognition for our work.


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, News, Poverty Reduction // December 22, 2017

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks wrote a letter to Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to address the work being done to lift those living in poverty through important systems-level change.

    This includes increasing income assistance rates and disability benefits, affordable housing (specifically supportive and social housing) affordable childcare, living wages, affordable education, and reducing marginalization.

    Read our letter to Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

    If you would like to contact Shane Simpson about this issue, you can reach his office at 250-356-7750 and sd.minister@gov.bc.ca.



    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Poverty Reduction // October 24, 2017

    Raise the Rates’ annual Welfare Food Challenge is starting in November 2017.

    Members of Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks will be participating in the Challenge to highlight the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC.

    The Challenge is for one week, eating only what can be purchased with $19, the amount of money a welfare recipient receives.

    Even with the $100/month raise implemented by the new BC government, this amount is not enough. A single person on welfare receives only $710/month, which provides only $19/week for food.

    With the rising cost of rent, lack of rent control, exorbitant cost of living in the city, this is only $1 more per week than the Challenge in 2016. Raise the Rates is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare; and how there needs to be more action and commitment to see rates raised so people on welfare can live with dignity.

    The Challenge will start on Wednesday, November 1st and run for a full 7 days. Participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $19 dollars.  This calculation is based on the expectation that welfare recipients will have to pay rent and damage deposit, bus tickets and cell phone (necessary to look for work and contact the welfare office) and personal hygiene. Out of $710 there is still very little money left for food.

    If you would like to participate, you can sign up online. For more information about the Welfare Food Challenge, please visit welfarefoodchallenge.org or contact Kell Gerlingt at raise.the.rates17[at]gmail.com or 778.871.0141.


    Follow our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network participants on their blogs, linked here