VNFN 2023 Year-End Report

VNFN Year End 2023 Report Cover. Cover photo features two children and an adult tending to the flower bed.

The Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are thrilled to share our 2023 Year-End Collective Impact Report.

Neighbourhood-based food networks are a unique model for building a connected, resilient, more equitable and just food system in Vancouver all the while strengthening local food cultures and improving the lives of many members of our community. We are now 15 networks that each work independently within geographically defined neighbourhoods. Each provides responsive and appropriate food programming particular to the needs, desires and cultures within their respective neighbourhoods. In turn, these Networks partner with close to 200 other organizations through a hub and spoke type of structure. 

South Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network: Summer BBQ. Photo: Kristen To.

This year-end report presents just some of our achievements, though there are many more that could be mentioned. Each of these programs demonstrates dignity at the heart of our VNFN work. Our programs provide a sense of self-worth, support engagement in community life, nourish the well-being of all community members, involve program participants in decision-making, and ensure that everyone is valued and able to contribute. 

Riley Park Community Garden – Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood Food Network. Photo: Isabella Falsetti.

We are especially proud of the hard work of each of the 15 Food Networks in providing accessible community food programming despite growing inequities and other challenges in our food system. We especially saw how the high cost of food dominated people’s lives, and we continue to work with many households to lessen the stress, including some who identify as middle-class and who are struggling with their food bills. Many Food Networks have voiced concern about the burden of response that we carry in addressing these challenges. But if there is a silver lining in this past year of high food inflation, it is the growing public call for upstream solutions to better address income disparity and the corporate control of our food system. 

And building on this call to move away from charity towards a more just and dignified food system, the VNFNs are helping lead a grassroots effort through the emerging Vancouver Food Justice Coalition that will see us further amplifying this collective action toward structural change to build a fully just and rights-based food system.