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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
Last year, chefs in the Downtown Eastside reported many challenges associated with their annual holiday meals. We heard stories of food waste and efforts to put on dignified experiences being hampered by the many ‘parachute’ groups that drop into the community and serve meals–often fast food–on the street.
DTES Kitchen Tables’ Holiday Meal List
Neighbourhood Food Network member DTES Kitchen Tables Project sees the distribution of the holiday meal list as an opportunity not only to inform community members on where to find holiday meals but also for people serving meals to make more informed decision on when and where to do so.
Here, we share the updated meal list for the 2018/19 holiday season in the Downtown Eastside. Please share with anyone you know who might be organizing a “one-time” meal or distributing food in the Downtown Eastside in the coming months.
Note: Updated on December 5, 2018. Thank you to those who sent in feedback and corrections for the Holiday Meal List. Dounia Saeme of DTES Kitchen Tables has updated this list to reflect changes and additions.
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 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.