Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (NFNs) are particularly unique in helping to nurture a neighbourhood-based and city-wide food systems change. Most importantly they operate at a neighbourhod scale, which can link organizations and the public with initiatives in a way that meaningfully maximizes the assets of the community in addressing local food security.
Neighbourhood Food Networks support a “right to food” philosophy – equitable access to food that is healthy and nutritious, affordable for all, culturally appropriate and sustainably produced. In so doing, we each work to promote health, wellness and positive change for our communities and the environment.
NFNs are a neighbourhood-based model that focuses on developing a localized and accessible food system which integrates local decision-making and skill sharing about healthy and affordable food. —Vancouver Coastal Health
Recently, at the Sustenance Festival held at the Roundhouse and corresponding to World Food Day, the NFNs created a display, shown in the photos below, that highlighted a range of programs particular to each geographical neighbourhood and community while at the same time connecting these networks to the city-wide scale.
Together the NFNs are helping to foster food systems change by: increasing levels of food security among vulnerable and marginalized populations through capacity building approaches; incubating community volunteers and leaders; advocating for policy change in the interest of more just, sustainable, and healthy local food systems; increasing the number of community food assets; utilizing food as a tool for community development, promoting inclusion, and a sense of belonging; and continuing to build partnerships with other community coalitions, non-profits, government, and the business sector.
With a focus on health and nutrition, food justice and the environment, the richness of the NFN movement is a demonstration of the energy, passion, interest, and collaboration in the food movement today.