Raise the Rates 6th Annual Welfare Food Challenge

This is an invitation to join the Grandview Woodland Food Connection and Raise the Rates’ Annual Welfare Food Challenge in November 2017. The Challenge is for one week, eating only what can be purchased with the money a welfare recipient receives.

The Challenge highlights the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. Even with the $100/month raise implemented by the new BC government, this amount is not enough. A single person 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, and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection are 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.

To help publicize the Challenge, we are inviting you to join with the Grandview Woodland Food Connection and together we hope to document and publicize our experiences. This could include:

  • Writing blog posts for our website and the Vancouver Neighborhood Food Networks website
  • Posting directly to your own social media and sharing on our Facebook site.
  • Sharing your experiences with your friends, family, community members, and policy makers

For more information about the Welfare Food Challenge visit: http://welfarefoodchallenge.org/. or http://vancouverfoodnetworks.com/welfarefoodchallenge/ Thank you for considering taking the Welfare Food Challenge. Your contribution to raising awareness and creating policy change is important. If you have any questions or would like to participate, please contact Ian Marcuse at gwfcnetwork@gmail.com or 604-718-5895.

Wild Salmon Caravan Vancouver Parade – Murray Bush Photos

Another spectacular Wild Salmon Caravan Mardi Gras style parade with drumming, regalia, costumes, floats, signs, banners and more, which all express in celebration our love for and deep concern to protect Wild Salmon. Led by the 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.

This Rainbow Parade in Vancouver launches the Wild Salmon Caravan and its third annual journey which will follow the wild salmon from the Salish Seas to Secwepemcul’ecw territory, stoping at several communities along the way. The Caravan will be led this year by Salish matriarchs from Indigenous communities all along the route from Vancouver to the Adams River.

The Oct. 7-12 Caravan will honour and celebrate the spirit of wild salmon with festive parades, ceremonies, traditional feasts and music in Coastal and Interior Salish communities including Vancouver, Chilliwack, Merritt, Kamloops and Chase.

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is an organizing partner and honored to be a part of this event, recognizing that salmon are a critical food justice issue, in particular, for its importance to Indigenous people and a whole host of other species that depend on salmon for their survival. Supporting the protection of wild salmon is an important reconciliation action towards ensuring a stronger Indigenous land and food system. To this end, we must step up our support for and with Indigenous peoples in their struggle to save the salmon, including working towards an end to open pen fish farms, overfishing, oil pipelines, and a host of other environmental threats to salmon.

Check out these beautiful photos by Murray Bush. For more photos visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gwfc/albums/72157661282546378


Britannia School Garden Program Kicks Off

Britannia School gardening kicks off another school garden year with a seed saving workshop. Also had fun digging up potatoes and harvesting other food that one class made into a large veggie stew. This year we are working with three classes (Outreach Alternate, Streetfront Alternate, and Bio 11) and about 60 students. Big thanks to recent funding from Seeds of Change Canada and Evergreen that is helping to support our garden program.

Britannia Sukkot Festival

Join us for an intercultural feast to celebrate our appreciation for the harvest, community connections, and the Coast Salish land we call home at the innaugural Britannia Sukkot Festival.

Sukkot is the Jewish harvest festival, held each autumn to celebrate the bounty of nature and the giving of the Torah by God to the Jewish people. To commemorate this holiday, Jewish families build temporary outdoor shelters (Sukkahs), where they dine with family and friends each evening for a week. These temporary shelters remind us of the impermanence of our possessions and harken back to the 40 years the Jewish people wandered through the desert following their emancipation from slavery in Egypt.

Sukkot expresses universal themes of harvest celebration, cultural identity, human vulnerability, and community. The Britannia Sukkot Festival will bring together diverse community members to feast and share in both a Jewish Sukkot and Coast Salish led ceremonies as part of the city wide Sustenance Festival 2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 
5-8 pm Britannia Community Centre šxʷqʷeləwən ct Carving Centre (dress warm)
1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver 
Vegetarian Dinner by Donation
Advanced registration necessary; space is limited.
reserve a spot at: jewishmuseum.ca/sukkot/
or contact: 604.257.5199 or 604.718.5895
Programming will feature:
Eyepiece by FSOARK, the winner of the 2017 JMABC / GWFC Sukkah Design Competition.
Coast Salish Welcome and Blessing Ceremony by Senaqwila Wyss
Sukkot Blessings by Rabbi Hannah Dresner
Vegetarian Dinner by Tayybeh: A Celebration of Syrian Cuisine

Presented by the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Britannia Community Centre, and Or Shalom.

Britannia Garden Volunteer Workparty and BBQ

Big thank you to all the volunteers who came out the first annual Britannia Garden Volunteer Workparty and BBQ. We got alot of work done and the extra help goes a long way to maintaining the Britannia Secondary School gardens. Was really sweet to have a fiddle player, Caitlan Read join us which livened up the work. Also, a big thank you to Yao, our Britannia Community Centre volunteer coordinator for pulling together the volunteers and food.

Photos: Tadafumi Tamura

Corn Festival 2017

It is another wrap for a fantastic Corn Festival – a little taste of Latin America in East Van. The sun shone gloriously, pupasas were cooking, lots of corn was being eaten, the sounds of Latin American music all permeated Britannia last weekend. Now in its 13 year (9 years at Britannia), the Corn Festival, better known as the Fiesta Del Maiz, is s partnership between the Canada El Salvador Action Network, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, and Britannia Community Centre and celebrates corn and its cultural importance to the peoples of Latin America. Corn, the staple food crop in Latin America, is increasing under threat by corporate agriculture.  Fortunately for local projects like the Tal A’xin: Maya in Exile Garden at UBC, indigenous strains of corn are kept alive along with Mayan culture here in Vancouver. Check out their great video below and photos of the Corn Festival 2017

Photos: Ian Marcuse and Tadafumi Tamura