This month, we are excited to highlight the work of our network member, Gordon Neighbourhood House in the West End neighbourhood.
Part of Gordon Neighbourhood House’s food philosophy is to work towards increased food access for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
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 only $5 or pay what you can.
Now that spring has arrived, a new growing season is starting up again. Gordon House is growing at three urban farm sites in the West End and maintaining ten community herb boxes.
The community herb boxes provide the public with access to free herbs all-year long.
In addition to their urban farming initatives and community lunches, Gordon House hosts…
Rainbow Soup Special a weekly gathering for LGBTQ+ community members and allies who cook soup together, which is served the following day at the Community Food Hub.
The West End Community Food Hub, a partnership with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. It offers a hot meal, free coffee and smoothies, subsidized fresh produce, food demos, access to health services from Coastal Mental Health, and library books from the Vancouver Public Library. This has a huge impact for our members, especially during the winter when food access is especially limited.
Gordon Greens Mobile Produce Market, which brings fresh and affordable produce to various locations in the West End. Gordon House will be bringing this program back for its second year in July 2018.
The West End Food Series, a collaboration with community members and local organizations to offer free, fun and diverse workshops and events to celebrate food in the West End neighbourhood. Gordon House is currently transforming the West End Food Series from a 6-day festival into year-round programming. They are surveying community members to find out what kinds of food workshops, events, and dialogues they would like to see for the coming year.
Of all the work that goes into their food initiatives and other programming, Joey says, “I’m especially proud of the work we did last year to develop a Respect Policy that ensures that every person who walks through our door feels welcome, safe and respected. It’s not always easy work but it’s extremely impactful and rewarding.”
Do you live in or around the West End? If you are interested in getting involved with Gordon House’s urban farming projects, sharing your food skills and passions at the West End Food Festival, or anything else related to food, you can reach Joey at email@example.com or 604.683.2554.