GRANDVIEW WOODLAND FOOD CONNECTION

  • CELEBRATING COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH GRANDVIEW WOODLAND FOOD CONNECTION

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Dignified Food Access, Food Justice, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Neighbourhood Food Networks, News, Poverty Reduction // August 6, 2020

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


    Ian Marcuse (he, him, his) has been the food network coordinator for the Grandview Woodland Food Connection for 12 years. He is a Jewish/English cis male, born in Vancouver and raised in Calgary. At 59 years old, Ian identifies as “almost an early senior.” He has lived in the Grandview-Woodland community for 33 years

    The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of all residents living in Grandview Woodland by promoting an accessible, just and sustainable food system for the community. As a network, they seek to build capacity through education, information-sharing, and the creation of grassroots initiatives to address food security and justice issues.

    The network has a strong school food garden program, due to the proximity of schools where they work. They have the longest-running coordinator of any Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network, and they are a union site. They have a wide breadth of community food security programming, including a strong Indigenous focus to their work, and are working toward an even-stronger Indigenous food framework in their programming.

    An image of Indigenous herbalist Lori Snyder teaching a group of people in the garden

    For Ian, respect and gratitude toward all the people he works with is paramount, especially with acknowledgment and redress to First Nations. He collaboratatively practices a decolonization and a land-based approach to food security, as well as place-based thinking, while upholding a strong networked model of organizing.

    Ian appreciates meaningful collaborations, including a strong and active advisory committee and support from Britannia Community Services Society as the network’s host agency. The Grandview Woodland Food Connection practices strong coalition-building and positive relationships with the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, the City of Vancouver and other government institutions.

    Ian came to this work, perhaps in spite of his own personal history of growing up with a lot of processed foods. “That was the 70’s and the health awareness was not as sophisticated back then. There was no organic food movement,” he says. “I am now fairly addicted to sugar and my guilty pleasure is Dairy Queen burgers. On the other hand, my mom was a good cook and so we did eat regular home-cooked meals.”

    “Every Sunday was a full sit-down family dinner, usually with something more fancy, such as a roast beef—I think my father’s favourite, along with my mother’s delicious piroshkis,” Ian recalls.

    “We also grew up with a small veggie garden, which I spent much time tending, so I developed a fairly decent green thumb at an early age.”

    An image of Ian raking the garden, with a big grin on his face

    Business-as-usual for the Grandview Woodland Food Connection involves a whole host of food security activities, including school gardening, food celebrations like the iconic Stone Soup Festival, the Corn Festival, and other special events where meals are provided, along with networking and information-sharing.

    Ian points out that COVID-19 has the network mainly focusing on emergency food provision. The closest program prior was the bulk food program, which was a wholesale food group purchasing program—also known as a good food box program. Ian likes to think of it more as a co-op model, where participants pay a minimal fee to purchase food.

    A banner showing several images of people growing and preparing food together

    Different from a food bank, the bulk food program is affordable and includes a more dignified system of reciprocity, preventing a sense of stigma. As a result, the network developed experience with bulk food procurement, sorting and distribution, which meant they were more prepared for COVID-19 emergency food delivery, with a heavy focus on food procurement. Having pre-existing relationships with businesses allowed them to purchase food at cost. The network’s well-established volunteer base and Britannia’s volunteer programmer helped them quickly implement the emergency food distribution program.

    Ian talks about how people in the community have really stepped up to help with food delivery, whether it be the very generous donations received through a gofundme campaign, along with other donations and the 126 volunteers who have committed time to date. People in the Grandview-Woodland community truly care, which for Ian is the most heartwarming aspect of this work.

    Another important story is that none of this effort, and none of this work just magically happened. It is the culmination of decades of community development work, of strong volunteer engagement, of building and fostering strong relations with partner organizations, businesses, funders, and community members. Most importantly, it is the local community organizations, working from a social development and place-based model that have fostered a culture of connection, caring and resilience that has allowed the network to successfully respond to this pandemic. It did not happen in a vacuum.

    “While we only hear snippets of people’s lives through brief telephone conversations—including many stories of pain and physical suffering from poor health and aging,” Ian says, “we are reminded how difficult these times are for many people.” For Ian, COVID-19 has magnified the underlying complexities and systemic exclusion of the most vulnerable in the community, many of whom are struggling—financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

    “This pandemic has not affected us equitably,” Ian says. “Indigenous, Black, people of colour, women, young workers, trans people, folks with disabilities, and the elderly are more likely to be grappling with poverty, prejudice, stress and systemic discrimination.”

    “But despite all this struggle so many people are letting us know how grateful they are for the food support that they are receiving. Our drivers always tell us how grateful people are when the food is dropped off.”

    Ian Marcuse, Grandview Woodland Food Connection
    An indoor image of person wearing a mask while filling boxes of food

    Challenges & Goals

    Some of the network’s future goals include establishing a neighbourhood-based/scale food hub with direct farm and inner city food distribution linkages. They would like to increase food storage capacity for quality food, like fresh produce. They have also recently become a United Way Local Love Food Hub.

    Ian’s vision includes increasing community organizing and advocacy capacity, with a systems change focus. Ideally, they would like to hire a permanent school gardener programmer to coordinate and expand food growing and educational opportunities with school partners.

    Learn more about Grandview-Woodland Food Connection, get involved, and celebrate community food action:

    Read more about Grandview-Woodland’s emergency food response, community partner and funders, and other initiatives

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • SPRING GARDENING WORKSHOPS & EVENTS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Events, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Marpole Oakridge Neighbourhood Food Network, Neighbourhood Food Networks, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, Seed Library, Uncategorized, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // March 12, 2019

    The ground is thawing and soon it’ll be time to start working the soil again.

    Whether you’re a long-time gardener or brand new to growing your own food, the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have got you covered this spring. Join an upcoming workshop to learn skills on early spring planting, growing Japanese vegetables, making the most of patios or small garden spaces, how to manage pests, and more.

    There are also opportunities across the city to learn new skills, meet other gardeners, and volunteer in your community.

    Read on to learn more.


    March 16, 2019 // Garden Work Party & Early Spring Planting workshop
    50 East 30th Avenue from 12:00-2:00 PM
    Riley Park Community Garden

    Join Riley Park gardeners to prepare the orchard area and for an Early Spring Planting workshop led by Chris Billion of One Love Farm (starts at 1pm). Gardeners will be planting the bed for the new residents of the Modular Housing unit at 37th/ Main. This will be the first of three seed planting workshops this year with Chris to demonstrate year-round tips to grow vegetables.

    For more info contact info@rileyparkgarden.org.


    Mar 17, 2019 // Community Potluck, Seed Library & Workshop – West End
    870 Denman Street from 1:00-2:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    Join West End Neighbourhood Food Network and Village Vancouver at their monthly family friendly gatherings. Bring something yummy, share some good food and conversation with neighbours. Each month they present a mini-workshop on a different food and/or gardening related topic. The topic for March is amendments and fertilizers for patio and balcony gardeners.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199941


    March 17, 2019 // West End Urban Garden Club meeting
    870 Denman Street from 2:30-3:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    The featured activity at this March meeting will be making seed packets. Organized by West End Neighbourhood Food Network, a group which shares information, organizes food and gardening workshops, saves and distributes seed, explores possibilities for creating more gardening spaces in the West End, and engages in other food and gardening related activities.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199951


    March 19, 2019 // Community Gardens Networking and Meetup
    3981 Main Street, Vancouver from 6:30-8:30 PM
    Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

    Community garden organizers and members from across Vancouver are invited to get together, share experiences and learn from one other. Join Riley Park Community Garden and Vancouver Parks Board (VPB) to share successes on how to engage community, what is working in your garden, common challenges, and how to work together.

    Reserve your spot here. For more info, contact Joanne at joanne_mackinnon@lmnhs.bc.ca.


    March 21, 2019 // Seed Swap – Collingwood
    5288 Joyce Street from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Join us for our first seed swap of the year to trade or purchase new seeds and get your garden ready for the spring season! We will accept cash or swaps of seeds from your own garden in exchange for seeds from our collection. Find Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute in the main entrance lobby of Collingwood Neighbourhood House.


    March 21, 2019 // Garden Volunteer Meeting – West End
    1019 Broughton Street at 6:00 PM
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    The sun’s out and temperatures are warming up, which means the growing season is just around the corner! Interested in getting involved in the gardens at Gordon Neighbourhood House this spring and summer? Come learn about our garden programs at this garden volunteer meeting.

    For more information, email joey@gordonhouse.org


    March 21, 2019 // Start Your Own Seedlings Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Save money, and grow a wider variety of garden veggies by starting your own seedlings! This workshop will go over everything you need to know to start your own vegetable seedlings: From what soil to use, to moisture and light requirements, to troubleshooting, and building your own DIY seedling setup.

    Workshop is by Donation $5-$20 – no one turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca OR 604-435-0323 x. 237


    March 23, 2019 // Seed Library Pop-up – Grandview-Woodland
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00PM
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds for vegetables, herbs, and more. Browse the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library collection, borrow seeds, and check out the library’s resources on seed saving and gardening. Explore their seasonal goodies and discover new seed varieties! Pick up kale, tomato, and other seeds to start this month and next.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com


    March 23, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    2929 E. 22nd Ave from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    Renfrew Park Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8388, reference activity #196424


    March 24, 2019 // Introduction to Early Spring Japanese Vegetables workshop
    2690 Larch Street from 1:00-3:00PM
    Kitsilano Community Centre

    Start the gardening season by growing these early spring Japanese vegetables. Easy to grow, nutritionally dense, yet not readily available, make the most of your garden by growing these wonderful veggies. This hands-on Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop led by Tonari Gumi Garden Club will focus on five early spring vegetables. Participants will be offered additional seeds and plant starts, along with a sampling of these vegetables in delicious, yet simple Japanese dishes.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-6980, reference activity #200630


    March 26, 2019 // Pests! Who’s Eating My Lettuce & What To Do About It
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Bidwell Room

    As anyone who’s ever gardened before knows, pests can sometimes be a real problem in the garden (and can be particularly discourging if you’re a new gardener). This Village Vancouver/West End Neighbourhood Food Network Urban Garden Club workshop will be led by Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. Participants will learn various ecologically sound techniques for minimizing damage and disappointment caused by pests in your garden.

    Cost is $13. Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199953


    March 27, 2019 // Gardening and Pizza Lunch
    3096 E. Hastings from 1:00-2:00PM
    Hastings Community Centre

    Come together with Hastings-Sunrise gardeners Lauren and Shayna to work in the veggie garden and make pizza with the harvested ingredients. Enjoy healthy snacks created from the abundance of our community garden while chatting about healthy cooking, eating, and gardening.

    Register online or by calling (604) 718-6222, reference activity #204668.


    March 28, 2019 // Growing Plenty of Potatoes
    6810 Main St from 6:30-8:30PM
    Sunset Community Centre

    Learn how and when to plant, grow, harvest, and store potatoes in this Village Vancouver workshop with Rhiannon Johnson. We’ll discuss the best varieties for our area, preparation for planting, feeding, preventing problems, and much more for growing tasty potatoes! Each participant will take potato ‘seed’ home with them.

    Register online or by calling 604-718-6505, reference activity #202822


    March 30, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    1318 Cartwright Street from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    False Creek Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8195, reference activity #192441


    April 4 to September 5, 2019 // Gardening Course: Grow Your Own Food
    700 West 57th Ave from 6:30-8:00pm, every 2nd Thursday
    The Farmers on 57th at George Pearson Centre

    Come experience the joy of growing your favourite vegetables under the guidance of professional gardeners and educators, Karen Ageson and Jess Henry. The learning will be hands-on: you will plan, plant and tend your own garden plot, with instruction and support throughout the growing season. Along the way, you’ll learn about garden planning, soil health, seed starting, transplanting, weeding, watering and organic pest control.

    $300 for 12 instructional sessions, supplies and use of a garden plot approx. 4’ x 8.′ We encourage you to garden with your family—registration cost is per plot, not per person. All supplies are included (except gardening gloves) and the food you grow is yours to enjoy.

    Register online to reserve your spot in the course. If you have any questions or concerns, contact karen@farmerson57th.ca or 778-997-3609.


    April 6, 2019 // West End Food Series: Growing Japanese Vegetables Workshop
    1019 Broughton Street from 1:00-3:00pm
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    Come learn how to grow and cook delicious Japanese vegetables. In this hands-on workshop, Makiko from Tonari Gumi will show us how to grow and cook simple recipes featuring five popular Japanese vegetables and herbs.

    Free to attend. Register online. For more info, contact foodseries@gordonhouse.org or call 604-683-2554.


    April 16, 2019 // Veggie Gardening for Beginners Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00pm
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Always wanted to learn how to grow your food but don’t know where to start? Have you tried but been met with frustration? This beginners-level gardening workshop will go over all the basics you need to know to start growing your own vegetables: Soil health basics, planting (from seed and transplanting), watering, fertility, harvesting, plant health, and troubleshooting. Learn about the most common vegetable plant families and what they need to thrive!

    Free or by donation. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca to reserve your spot. For more information, call 604 435 0323.


    April 27, 2019 // Seed Library Pop Up
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00pm
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds to grow vegetables, herbs, and more with a collection of seasonal goodies and new varieties! At this Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library event, sign up as a seed library member, browse the collection, and borrow seeds. Pick up bean, cucumber, and other seeds to start this and next month.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com or through the Facebook event.


    May 9, 2019 // Indigenous Plant Walk on Wild & Native Medicinals
    1661 Napier Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    Britannia Community Centre, meet in the school garden at the far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Lori Snyder is an Indigenous Herbalist, educator, storyteller, artist and Mother. Lori hosts workshops teaching about our living world, how to access its wisdom and to remember our stewardship. Come out and discover how to identify, when best to harvest & sample products in this interactive workshop. Meet in the Britannia school garden, far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Cost is $25. Register by calling 604-718-5800.


    May 22, 2019 // Apothecary Garden Plants for Your Well-being workshop
    1661 Napier Street from 6:00-9:00pm
    Britannia Community Centre, Youth room

    Explore the exciting world of the Apothecary Garden and learn about the many herbs and their power to cure, legends and fairy tales to discover; the science of remedies preparation, and administration routes. Participants will have an opportunity to taste herbal teas and make a take-home remedy with medicinal and cosmetic properties to heal minor skin wounds, cuts and burns, sunburn, red and inflamed skin, and dry winter skin!

    Cost is $20. Register online or by calling 604-718-5800.


    June 6, 2019 // Building Healthy Soil workshop
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    West End Community Centre

    Learn some rudimentary soil biology and the importance of feeding your soil in building a healthy garden with Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. You’ll walk away with some basic techniques, and the know how to help your garden thrive.

    $13. Register online or by calling (604) 257-8333, reference activity #213177.

  • COMMUNITY MEALS: AFFORDABLE, HEALTHY FOOD + SOCIAL SPACES

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Dignified Food Access, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Mount Pleasant Food Network, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, South Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network // February 18, 2019

    2 Comments

    “Kitchens and dining room tables aren’t just places to make food. They’re also safe and familiar places to gather, connect, organize, plan and to recuperate. Food not only changes the feeling in a space, it also shifts behaviour.”

    Julia Turshen, author of “Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved”

    The dining room table offers more than a space to eat a meal. While breaking bread, a shared meal is an opportunity to sit down and converse with others. It offers space to share stories, create new ideas, or even informally practice language. As a shared activity, eating food connects people to community.

    According to research at the University of Oxford, the more often people sit down to eat with others, the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives.

    In Vancouver, approximately half of local residents find it hard to make friends. Approximately one in four people find themselves isolated more often than they would like.

    Combining the need for healthy, balanced meals with the need for more social spaces in the city, Vancouver Food Networks offer affordable meals for the community. Community meals are meant to offer meals which are accessible, so the cost of an average community meal is between $3 to $7. These are often homestyle meals, usually prepared and cooked on-site during the week. With advance notice, dietary considerations may be taken into account by the kitchen, too.

    If $3 to $7 is still a barrier, free and by-donation meals are available. Breakfasts (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) and lunches (Wednesday) are offered for free at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House. By-donation lunches (Monday, Wednesday) are available at Gordon Neighbourhood House in the West End.

    These community meals usually consist of multiple courses, including dessert. Weekday meals are offered throughout the city at Britannia Community Centre, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Hastings Community Centre (for seniors), South Van Neighbourhood House, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, and Kits Neighbourhood House.

    Find a Food Network which offers free or low cost meals in your neighbourhood. Learn when you are welcome to drop by to eat a hearty meal and meet your neighbours at the same time.

    See up-to-date information on current community meals here.

  • FOOD COSTS RISING IN BC: LACK OF INCOME REMAINS CAUSE OF FOOD INSECURITY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Dignified Food Access, Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables, Food Justice, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Poverty Reduction, Reports, Resources // December 22, 2018

    Average monthly cost to feed a family of four in Vancouver is $1,098

    With the rising cost of food, housing and overall living, the issue of addressing hunger requires a multi-dimensional approach. It does not exist on its own.

    The latest Food Costing in BC report highlights the increasing cost of food. Produced by the BC Centre for Disease Control and Provincial Health Services Authority, this report breaks down the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet.

    The cost to feed an average family of four in B.C. each month has risen by $151 over the past six years. (Image from BC Centre for Disease Control)

    The data in this report represents the “average monthly cost of a nutritionally adequate, balanced diet in BC based on the National Nutritious Food Basket and provides insight into the effects of household food insecurity on individuals and families.”

    “….the root cause of household food insecurity isn’t the price of food – it’s lack of income.”

    BC Centre for Disease Control, Food Cost in BC 2017 report

    Not surprisingly, food costs have been increasing by over 4% on average since 2015. The average monthly cost for a family of four in Vancouver is estimated at $1,098.

    Continue reading more
  • NEIGHBOURHOOD EVENTS AT SUSTENANCE FESTIVAL

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Events, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Mount Pleasant Food Network, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // October 14, 2018

    If you haven’t yet heard, Sustenance Festival is well on its way in Vancouver. Sustenance Festival is a city-wide food, art, and culture festival supported by dozens of community partners, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Parks Board.

    This year, Sustenance Festival boasts over sixty events ranging from cooking workshops and food security talks to documentary screenings and art exhibits. Many of these events are free or low cost. Events take place at community centres, neighbourhood houses, and other spaces throughout the city.

    This year, we are excited to see all of the events hosted by Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network members. Check out the upcoming events happening at Sustenance Festival with the neighbourhood food networks.  (more…)

  • PHOTOS: WILD SALMON CARAVAN 2018

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Food Justice, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Strathcona Community Centre // October 5, 2018

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks participated in this year’s Wild Salmon Caravan parade on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

    This is an annual event organized by the Working Group for Indigenous Food Sovereignty in partnership with over 100 local organizations from Vancouver through Chase, B.C. It is also the kick off event for Sustenance Festival, a local community-based food, art, and culture festival.

    Photo by Gary Haggquist, Wild Salmon Caravan

    The Wild Salmon Caravan festivities began in downtown Vancouver, or what is known as Xwenelmexw on unceded Coast Salish territories.

    The Wild Salmon Caravan Parade

    Hundreds of people gathered in the streets to celebrate the beauty and resilience of wild salmon as an Indigenous food source, and a significant cultural and ecological keystone species.

    Chants of “Wild Salmon Forever!” were accompanied by colourful costumes, mermaid tails, mythical sea creatures, parade floats, bike floats, banners, and artful decor with an homage to wild salmon.

    Photo by Murray Bush, Wild Salmon Caravan

    (more…)