As coordinator of the Grandview Woodland Food Connection, I am very grateful to have a job that is so closely aligned to my values of helping to build healthier, stronger, and more socially active communities. Helping to create creative, engaging, and relevant opportunities for people to get involved is a key focus in my work. What better way to engage people than through food programming. We all need and enjoy food, but the Right to Food, the idea that everyone deserves food that is accessible, affordable, and nutritious, is something also worth fighting for. As someone who has struggled with chronic pain much of my life, I understand the importance of healthy food to a healthy body. For me health is everything.

I do feel fortunate to be eating as well as I do, but I know that this is not the case for everyone. Times are hard for many people in BC. We still have the highest child poverty rate in Canada. Food Bank use is up 5% and with our high cost of living there is not much money left to buy food. Imagine how hard it must be living on income assistance as individual receiving a mere $638 a month or a single parent with only $1381.

In light if this reality, I find myself continually challenged in helping families access healthier more affordable food. Little by little, we are connecting with community members. Our NETWORK is growing with close to 600 people linked into various food programming available in East Vancouver. We will be expanding our BULK BUYING GROUP this year. We will be setting up a series of new COMMUNITY KITCHENS thanks to a grant from the Diabetes Foundation. Our Greenest City Grant will see us establish the new BRITANNIA SCHOOL FOOD GARDENS that will see fresh food grown for the school cafeteria. We also hope to expand and offer more diverse COOKING WORKSHOPS and will see the completion of BUEN PROVECHO 2 with its intergenerational cooking and digital storytelling component. All this and much more!

While we have lots of work ahead, we are also making lots of great connections and still building our structure and organization. A big thanks for all your support and help in building the Grandview Woodland Food Connection as an important food hub at Britannia Community Centre and in the community.

Peace and Love

Ian Marcuse

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