Vancouver Coastal Health – Urban Agriculture Opportunities

Vancouver Coastal Health is exploring the possibility of allowing community agencies to use its lands for food security or urban agriculture projects. To this end, we are seeking Expressions of Interest from non-profit organizations who would be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Please note:

• This is just an exploratory process – VCH has not identified any specific sites as of yet.
• Other than the land and the potential use of water, bathroom facilities, meeting rooms (this would all be negotiated), VCH has no funding for the development or operation of the urban agriculture project.

The basics:

• The community agency needs to be a registered non-profit society or a social enterprise
• The site space could be anything from less than a ¼ acre to 1 acre and be at a hospital, a community health centre, residential care facility, etc.
• If we had an appropriate site and your project was to move forward, you would need:
o General liability insurance
o To have adequate funds to cover the development and operating costs of the project

The EOI should only be 1 to 2 pages and include the following information:

1. Contact information
2. Briefly describe your organization – what is your mission, how big are you, when were you established?
3. Briefly describe what you have in mind for your project – approximate size, purpose, etc.
4. Describe how VCH would benefit from the project.
5. What resources (funding, staff, volunteers, etc.) would you have to develop and operate your project?
6. What are some of your expectations around what would be the role and contribution of VCH to your project?
7. its Sustainability strategy, VCH is aiming to reduce its use of water. What would be some ideas you would have to manage your use of water for the project?

Please submit your EOI to: and to on or before April 15, 2013.


The 15th Gathering of the B.C. Food Systems Network is taking place from July 5th through the 7th, 2013 at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, and we invite you to contribute to exploring this year’s theme “Food from the Water, Food from the Land”.

The purpose of the Gathering is to bring the members of the Network together to share their ideas, experiences and initiatives in building community food security, and to build new relationships within the Network while strengthening existing ones. The Gathering is about connecting people and drawing on the wisdom and expertise that exists within the Network by blending scheduled workshops, presentations and activities with unstructured time and space to encourage informal sharing, socializing or quiet contemplation.

We are currently seeking proposals for workshops, roundtables and discussion topics or other activities related to the theme, including Indigenous food harvesting rights and access; health and food medicines; the cultural significance of food; fish farms and aquaponics; overfishing and globalization; bioregionalism and permaculture; and local food resilience, including urban agriculture.

The Gathering Committee encourages all of you to share your knowledge and ideas for making the gathering a meaningful and enriching experience. Please submit a one or two paragraph description of your proposed workshop, presentation, or activity (as well as a short bio) to Diane Elliott-Buckley, Gathering Coordinator ( by May 30, 2013. Questions we could be exploring together include:

• What can we do as a community and as individuals to protect our land and oceans?
• How can we include food from the water in our local food security dialogue?
• How can the BCFSN and the VICCIFN best advocate for healthy aquatic food systems ?
• Where is the best place to direct our common food voice within climate change discourse?
• How can we celebrate and document our successes?
• How can we support fishermen and small-scale farmers?

We hope you will be able to join us at Camp Pringle, located on Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, between Victoria and Nanaimo. The Network respectfully acknowledges that Shawnigan Lake is situated on Indigenous Land belonging to the Coast Salish people, including the Cowichan Tribes and the Malahat First Nation.

The weekend is also a family-friendly celebration of community with activities such as story-telling, nature walks, visits to Citta Slow Cowichan Bay and O.U.R. Ecovillage, skills demonstrations, swimming, yoga and a shared love of food. Participants will be nourished in body, mind and spirit and will return to their communities and their work replenished and re-energized for the year ahead.

Registration for the Gathering will begin in late April. The rates will be $295 for early bird registration (till June 1) and $325 thereafter. This rate includes conference registration, accommodation and all meals. We will also be offering children and youth rates of $65 and $125 respectively and will provide a full day program for the kids at no extra charge. Kids under 5 will be welcomed free of charge. Shuttle services will be provided from Swartz Bay and Departure Bay.

If anyone would like to participate in planning for the Gathering or to volunteer during the event, please let us know. Most importantly, please help expand the Network by sharing this information with individuals or groups that are involved in promoting food security in BC. The committee is looking forward to hearing from you! In gratitude, Diane Elliott-BuckleyBCFSN Gathering Coordinator Visit our Facebook Events Page


Community Rally & March
April 9th, 2013

Starts out front of the
Welfare Office – 2350 Commercial Drive (@ 7th)
March to an MLA’s office

our nutrition
our dignity
our right to buy our own food

Bus tickets are available for the first 20 people to meet us at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House by 9:30 AM at the latest.


Members of the Downtown Eastside community have gathered together and met over the last few months dating back to January 2013. We have found that the food proportions provide inequalities to the low-income population with little dignity. The process to distribute community foods with past expiration dates is still occurring within large food charitable groups. This is not being practiced by upholding the Regulation of Food safety laws and policies.

Canada is signatory to the international Human Right to Food, yet the province of British Columbia legislates housing and income measures that directly contravene this human right. According to the Dieticians of Canada, it takes over 60$ of income for an individual to purchase food for an adequate diet per week. Yet, welfare rates amount to less than half this, and families on low-wages struggle to provide this too.

Charities are unable to help provide for the needs of those dealing with various issues of social injustice. Exchanges of real life experiences and research were shared among group members. We’ve found the results through observations with stories being told on the treatment of low-income individuals. We believe that charity groups do have good intentions but majority of the community members are not accessing adequate and proper nutritional foods.

Neighbourhood Action Food Group wants to see changes when dealing with local community residence members facing hardships in SROs (Single Residence Occupancy) with bad cooking facilities or not even a refrigerator. Most people have visible or hidden disabilities which can causes their weakened immune systems to shut down when they are not able to obtain adequate nutrition’s.

Collective Actions we want to see;

• Advocate for higher wages, welfare & disability rates in order to eat and live with dignity.
• Lobbying for food equality & education.
• More affordable food Stores.

• Stop gentrifying the community with fancy restaurants & condos.

• SRO’S should have proper regulations on Cooking facilities and kitchen.
• Create more community gardens/rooftop gardens within the community.
• More Community Kitchens in SRO’S for people are in isolation. 

• We need to address dietary supplements and sensitivity. 

• Challenge all food providers to step up to provide good quality foods. 

• Food charities line-up continues to be revolving doors like an assembling line. (Even in poor weather conditions).

right to food demo