Hello from the Grandview Woodland Food Connection

We hope that you are all well and staying healthy during these COVID times.

Just thought that we should give you a bit of an update on what the Grandview Woodland Food Connection is doing these days. All our regular programming has been put on hold for the time being. In its place, we have shifted our resources to Emergency Food Delivery, working 7 days a week , delivering up to 30 nutritious food boxes to community members who are in isolation and experiencing some form of hardship. We have now delivered 481 food boxes and logged in 385 hrs of volunteer time

If you know of anyone who is in isolation and/or in need of food assistance, please have them call us at 604-718-5828.

At the local level, and in our community here in East Van, I have been so impressed with how people are really stepping up to help each other. Through networks, mutual aid groups, community organizing, volunteerism, and giving, the best aspects of community are certainly seen here in East Vancouver.

And I am proud to be working for a Vancouver Neighborhood Food Network and proud of the work that we have been doing over the years to build a stronger local food system. Much of this work has laid the foundation for an active and engaged local food movement better able to respond to this pandemic.

Having said this, I do not mean to suggest that everything is fine. This pandemic has caught many of us off guard and we have much to learn from this experience. In particular, the pandemic is exposing severe inequity as well as critical weaknesses in our food systems. The fact that so many in our own communities are in need of food and living pay cheque to pay cheque is evidence a broken system. For example today, a senior and her husband living in Burnaby called us out of desperation. They were referred to us by the seniors 211 help line. They are both elderly, in poor health and unable and unwilling to go outside. Traveling to a food bank is out of the question. They have no food in the house and they have been calling everyone for help without success, finally calling us for help. Though we really only deliver in East Vancouver, we have been driving further afield, and fortunately, we have a driver from Burnaby who will deliver food to this couple in the next few days.

In response, we are working hard to address this food access challenge and have essentially become a de-facto food bank, not something we ever wanted to become. But we are starting to get into a flow with more food coming in and more food going out. We are now ordering bulk dry goods through East End Food Co-op who are generously purchasing food for us at cost as well as some food through Choices Food Market. Several other restaurants and businesses are donating pre-made meals including Pasture to Plate, The Reef, Havana Restaurant, the Swiss Bakery, Liquids and Solids, and Taybeh Syrian Catering (some through customer donations). The Italian Cultural Centre will be donating 50 pre-cooked meals weekly for us. A number of other possible donations are in the works.

Then there are the over 200 donors who have been supporting our gofundme East Vancouver Cares fundraiser campaign t raise money to cover costs to purchase healthy food for our food hampers. Your support has been so greatly appreciated by those receiving the food boxes. This is the power of community.

And finally, a big thank you to all our volunteer food sorters and drivers who have been so dedicated and supportive. It makes me proud to be living in East Vancouver.

Information about health and COVID-19