Off the Grill Starts Up This Summer

Off the Grill 6We are pleased to announce that Off the Grill will resume July 3. This means healthy, fresh meals prepared with teens from the Britannia Teen Centre served in the Britannia Community Centre Plaza at Napier and Commercial Drive.

Meals served Wednesday and Fridays at 7 pm. Youth and community welcome.

Youth who dedicate time to helping with prep, serving and/or clean-up over the course of the summer are eligible for a culinary certificate! Some may be eligible for school credit.

We are struggling to support this program. Please consider how you can contribute:

Come eat! Everyone is welcome, Wednesdays and Fridays at Britannia Community Centre Plaza, Napier and Commercial Drive. $5 suggested donation a person. Youth free.

Donate your time:

O Volunteer for food prep—make conversation while skewering!
O We need one more chef/cook!
O Help us build our donation base—reach out to your contacts and the services you use, would they consider donating food or other resources?

Donate your money. We struggle to make ends meet and we want to grow the program. A little money goes a long way. Our biggest ask is towards youth honorariums (so that they youth know the value of their contribution!)–$2500 needed to support youth volunteers during the summer. Of course, anything helps. Support a healthy meal for $150-250. Donate fuel for $50.

Please contact the Grandview Woodland Food Connection if you want to help.

Thank you for all of your support,

A School Garden Celebration

As is tradition at the Britannia School Garden we celebrate the end of the school gardening year with those classes which have been working in the garden throughout the year. Like each past year celebration this one was just as magical with so many reasons to celebrate.

Four Britannia classes participated in the Environmental Youth Alliance Growing Kids program. Grandview Woodland Food Connection is a key partner in the program. Throughout the school year these classes learned about food growing through hands-on learning, helping to plant, grow food, harvest and take general care of the gardens. Each year the gardens grow more abundant and the students more enthusiastic.

This year’s celebration was particularly special for a number of reasons.

First, we finally (after several years of talking about it) moved the large City earthquake container that sat in the middle of our garden taking up valuable space and basically a major eyesore. With the container gone, the space feels so much larger and open. In its place we will be able to create 4 more garden beds.

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Secondly, we are growing great food. The garden is more abundant and healthy than ever. It could be that it is a good growing year, but the main factor is that we have been working hard building up the soil nutrients through composting which has enabled the plants to thrive. It goes to show the importance of soil fertility. As part of our celebration we ate food mostly from the garden – lemon balm lemonade, fresh salad with strawberries, kale pasta. It is a very empowering experience for the students to be eating food that they grew themselves.

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Third, a releasing of butterflies. How perfect to release newly hatched butterflies into the garden that were raised by one of the teachers. The students were entranced by this very special and beautiful event.

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And finally, to the beauty of the garden which brings smiles to our days.

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Britannia Food Share

CityStudio students recently helped the Grandview Woodland Food Connection and the Britannia East Van Feast Family youth meal program in establishing a food recovery program collecting unsellable but still good quality organic produce from nearby food stores to be used in this food program. The Britannia Food Share has been a great success and a huge thanks to CityStudio for their enthusiasm and hard work in getting this program off the ground.

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Also a big thanks to Eternal Abundance and Drive Organics for their support in collecting food for our program. Youth from the Britannia Teen Centre collect the food once a week. This food is surprisingly good quality, but due to cosmetic deterioration or damage it is often discarded. The average amount of food recovered is around 25lbs/week. With increased capacity, we would ideally expand this program picking up from more stores and helping to lower our food costs.

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This recovered food is used for a weekly youth meal program engaging Britannia teens in healthy food preparation and eating together helping to build food skills and food literacy. A core group of youth have taken a particular interest and are active in the program design and decisions as to what to cook and all.

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East Van Feast Fam runs three days a week and supports many so called vulnerable youth, who are in many cases lacking healthy food access. All food cooked is super healthy, protein rich food that the youth have requested. Active adolescents require adequate nutrition and those who are disconnected from school, home and community are nutritionally deficient. Well fed youth have better decision-making capacity, experience less negative effects from intoxication, sleep better, and have overall better health.


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