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.
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.
Send questions or additional resources to Tyler (Mt Pleasant – foodnetcoord[at]mpnh.org) or Dounia (DTES Kitchen Tables – dounia[at]potluckcatering.com).
*DTES Kitchen Tables Project recognizes that there are organizations which deliver many additional free meal programs which are reserved for specific groups or facilities in the DTES (ie; resident meal programs, community kitchens). These are not included in this list.
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.
Food assets are places where people can grow, prepare, share, buy, receive or learn about food. Community organizations and schools are included on the map because they are places where community members can get support with learning and health or connect with others in their community.
In case you missed it, check out the spectacular photos of the Wild Salmon Caravan parade from Saturday, October 7, 2017.
Drumming, regalia, costumes, floats, signs, banners and more all express our love for, celebration of, and deep concern to protect Wild Salmon. Led by Salish Matriarchs, the parade started at the Native Friendship Centre and walked up Commercial Drive to Trout lake where a salmon ceremony was held at the lake then followed by an amazing salmon feast, speakers, and performances.
The VNFN’s are a grassroots network of people, organizations and agencies collaborating on food initiatives to ensure that all community members have access to healthy, culturally appropriate and sustainably produced food. Ian says, “We know that food brings people together and help to build connections, but it also divides us as a community. There are too many people that don’t have enough money to pay for food.” Financial constraints have been identified as an underlying cause of food insecurity by groups including the Dieticians of Canada.
The Vancouver Neighborhood Food Networks helped get out the vote with our Lettuce Turnip the Heat on poverty reduction. Partnering with the Food Bank, several of the VNFNs tabled at local Food Bank depots providing information of voter registration and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s poverty reduction plan for which many Food Bank members were interested to receive the information. The tabling went well and we look forward to more poverty reduction advocacy in the near future.
For the campaign, we have developed a fact sheet for each day, with some copy, to be shared on social media. Please see below for the schedule and content to be shared! It would be amazing to have as many networks as possible sharing these.