Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks Impact Report

Vancouver NeighbourhoodFood Networks provided affordable meals, food skills programs, and social connections to over 30,000 people in 2018, as indicated in their inaugural impact report. This report has been a long time coming. We have seen a significant spike in use of our food services in recent years. With the rising cost of rent and food, families are forced to cut costs wherever possible. This impact report from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks provides crucial data on food access and services city-wide.

Combining the need for affordable meals with the need for more social spaces in Vancouver, Vancouver Food Networks served more than 109,000 community meals in 2018, according to the report. On average, these meals cost between $3.00 to $7.00 and offered an affordable menu of seasonal and cultural home-style dishes.

Beyond serving meals, the report indicates Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks coordinated over 1,100 skill-building workshops, which generate lasting effects on community members’ well being: “I have grown because I cook better…when you cook and it’s really good and healthy, you feel proud and you get the courage to try new things,” shares a workshop participant from Mount Pleasant Food Network.

Read the full impact report for more details on Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network’s city-wide initiatives in 2018, including fresh food distribution, seasonal celebrations, community and school gardens, and more.

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks are made up of 15 community organizations committed to promoting food security across Vancouver. Based on the belief that all members of society have the right to quality food, they are committed to food equity and access, education, skill building, and advocacy, particularly for community members who struggle economically.

16th Annual Corn Festival – 2019

Recently celebrated the 16th annual and our 9th Fiesta Del Maize (Corn Festival) at Britannia Community Services Centre in partnership with organizers Canada El Salvador Action Network (CELSAN). Was another fun community event with lots of tasty food and great music celebrating Latin American culture. So thankful for this collaboration with the Salvadoran community and enriching all our lives in East Vancouver.

An important aspect to this festival is the celebration and awareness of the importance of corn to the people of Latin America. This is critically important in view of the fact that a very high percentage of corn now grown in Latin America is GMO which relies heavily on industrial inputs and pesticides such as Roundup. This agrochemical system is completely replacing hundreds of traditional corn varieties in Latin America and at the same time increasing food security risk in Latin America. Since corn is one of the more common GMO foods, it is important that you inquire if your corn purchase is GMO or not.

Wild Minds 2019 Day 10 (Last Day)

What a wonderful two weeks it was working with a really great group of youth from Britannia School and East Vancouver. Also great working with Brennan, our co-organizer from the Environmental Youth Alliance who helped create an engaging and fun program for the youth. For two weeks the youth learned about native plants, birds, insects, food growing, and ecology all the while playing, learning, exploring, and goofing around in one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver – The Strathcona and Cottonwood Community Gardens. All the youth reported feeling a closer connection to nature through this program, while learning new skills and building new friendships.

Check out more Wild Minds 2019 photos.

Wild Minds 2019 – Day 9

Went over to the Environmental Youth Alliance Youth Garden and dug into some work. Spent most of the day clearing away some invasive and weeds, replacing Himalayan Blackberry, which can quickly overwhelm and smoother all other plants in time, with new native plants, including Salal, Salmonberry, Huckleberry and a few other plants and this creating much more plant diversity. Looked like the youth had fun.

Wild Minds 2019 Day 8

Shifting from birds to bees today with bee lover and expert Marika from the Environmental Youth Alliance teaching us all about pollinators (yes, even wasps and flys are pollinators). It is not too hard to love a bee and all pollinators especially when we realize that their pollination accounts for 35% of food production. Armed with nets, the youth live trapped various insects to identify and release, providing the youth a close up opportunity to get to know these wonderful creatures and their interdependence with all life. Super cool was that one of the youth possibly caught a queen honey bee, a rare catch.