WILD MINDS – Day 1. Another year for Wild Minds and we have a wonderful group of 12 youth, many from Britannia Secondary School but also from Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School and Cedar Walk Alternative. The program partnership with Environmental Youth Alliance and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection focuses on rewilding urban environments has the youth learning about native plants and why they are important for ecosystem health. Today we potted up 60 plants including Evergreen Huckleberry, Red Flowering Current, Blueberry, Mock Orange, Dogwood, and Oregon Grape.
Sustenance Festival is an annual city-wide arts, culture and food festival with “local food- inspired workshops, talks, dances and more – all taking place in community centres and public spaces throughout Vancouver”. Sustenance has been supported by the Vancouver Park Board (Parks) Arts, Culture, and Engagement (ACE) Team and numerous community organizations since 2009. Over the years, however, Parks staff and community partners have observed and discussed the need for greater social and cultural inclusion in the local food movement and together with parks, are seeking to build on past successes engaging culturally diverse groups through Sustenance and strengthen it as a platform for cross-cultural connections and relationship building. Food is a universal need but also an exciting means of bringing people together. Approaches to this work include identifying barriers to participation, facilitating new project collaborations, and seeking out existing community food initiatives that have not been recognized as part of the mainstream food movement.
A key strategy for gathering this information is identifying and connecting with community leaders to hear their stories/insights/challenges/successes. This information will be used to determine how best to reduce barriers to participation in the Vancouver food system; to increase food-related initiatives at Park Board facilities and parks; and to connect programmers and staff to a stronger network of partners. This will also set the foundation for a collaborative, more inclusive approach to Sustenance in 2018 and onwards.
Had a successful and wonderful Syrain fundraiser this past Sunday and raised approximately $4,200 to help support the Grandview Woodland Refugee Initiative to bring a Syrian family to safety in Vancouver. Big thank you to Carmen and Hayat of Taste of Damascus for the wonderful dinner as well as Ibrahim Saker and Amar Chebib for the beautiful music and Amar also for the film Wajd: Songs of Separation, a film about Syrian musician refugees.
Spent an hour with the bees this week and amazing with how well they are doing. The hives are very full with what looks like several thousand bees. We have been adding broad chambers and honey supers. I think the bee keepers were also wanting to move a queen to another hive to avoid swarming as the hives were filling fast. Tasted some dark rich honey from these hives for the first time. There is much to learn about keeping bees and I look forward to working with our beekeeper teacher and her students as part of her Communications class next term.
The East End Food Co-op has been operating out of our small storefront at 1034 Commercial Drive since 1975. Initially launched as a buying club, we’re proud to offer healthy, local, organic, and fair trade products to over 11,000 members. We employ a unionized staff of ten employees and support hundreds of local producers, many from right in our neighbourhood.
Our co-op is in a crisis. Jimmy Pattison purchased Choices last year and their store across the street has doubled in size. This has seen our sales plummet up to 20%, and we are now under threat of closing our doors in the coming months if this does not change.
We have been responding very seriously to this crisis, with new investment from Vancity, a new marketing and member outreach campaign, and a new manager in place as of this week. Our staff have also stepped up in a big way, accepting a reduction in benefits in order to help keep our doors open.
But we can’t do it without the support of our community. We are asking our progressive neighbours in Vancouver to support in any of the following ways:
– Join us at our AGM on Monday, June 25 (7pm-9pm at the WISE Hall) to learn more and connect over food & music
– Shop at the Co-op and spread the word about the need for support with your community
– Consider volunteering or making an investment in the co-op. (Message me for details)
The East End Food Co-op is Vancouver’s only community-owned grocery store. I’ve been volunteering on the board for the past eight years because I believe a co-op has a very important role to play in advancing food security and ensuring support for independent producers in Vancouver. We still have a promising future and plans to grow – but first we must survive this crisis.
Feel free to share this message more broadly in your networks. Let me know if you have any questions, and it would be great to see you at the meeting next week or in the store!
President, East End Food Co-op
Join us for this Syrian fundraiser dinner and help support the fundraising effort of the Grandview Woodland Refugee Initiative to bring together family members living in Syria with their loved ones residing in our community here in Vancouver. This fundraiser will include a wonderful Syrian dinner prepared by Carmen Aldakhlollah and her mother Hayat Shabo with A Taste of Damascus. We will also have musical entertainment, silent auction, and great company.
When: Sunday, June 24, 5 - 9pm Where: Britannia Community Centre, Canucks Family Education Centre, 1655 William Street (above Eastside Family Place)
Cost: $50 Registration: Britannia Community Centre: 604-718-5800 or online at https://bit.ly/2wTRbBx More information: 604-718-5895