Hello world, we are group 12 of LFS 350 in the University of British Columbia. This blog will be dedicated to record the process of our course project – Vancouver Food Asset Map – UBC Food Assets. Let’s start with getting to know our 5 group members:

Alison Liu

Hi there, I am a third-year Food, Nutrition and Health major. I have a passion for food and health, as well as sharing my passion to other people. I am also interested in healthy living style. On a regular day, you can often find me cooking healthy meals at home, working out with friends and trying to balance school work with extracurricular activities. I enjoy interacting with different people and am always fascinated by how much I can learn from others

I chose this project because I find the idea of food assets map fascinating.  It is a very straightforward idea and I can see how it can be a very valuable tool for those who are facing the problem of food security in Vancouver. I chose this project also because I want to gain a good understanding of the food assets around my own university. Through this course, I wish I can strengthen my skill in working in a team and in a community setting. I would also want to improve my observational, analytical and communication skills.


Jenna Fan

I am a third year student in Food, nutrition and healthy major. I love travelling, taking photos, cooking and eating delicious foods. I also love doing some exercises like running and biking in the gym after school. I am interested in the relationship between food and human life. I would like to learn how to live a healthy life with eating well, how I can balance between eating and exercising, and how I can cook healthier meals. I love making new friends and listen to their interesting life experiences, because I can always learn a lot from them.

I chose this project because through the term, I can contribute to solving the food insecurity of the community by filling out the food assets map, develop food accessibility and serve it as a tool to those people in need. It is great to be involved in the community and help others. And I love to work with people as a team, so that I can learn from others thus improve my own skills. Through the course of LFS 350, I wish I can improve my skills on working with community organizations, and also my communication skills and abilities to collect data.


Terry Chou

I am a 4th year student majoring in the food, nutrition and health program. I love hanging out with friends and tasting different foods in different places, and I also love playing sports, such as basketball and badminton. I am interested in the nutritional values of various food products that we consume on daily bases, and at the same time I also have a lot of passion in the field of psychology.

The reason of choosing this project is that it is very thought provoking to understand the places where people can grow, prepare, share, purchase, obtain, and even learn about food. The food asset map highlights these places, and by acquiring these information, it provides us with further insights about the problems of food security that some people might face. Moreover, on the individual level, this project offers me an opportunity to sharpen my skills in various areas, such as data collection, data examination, and most importantly communicative skills.

Nicole Lu
Third year nutritional science student; I love cooking, and I enjoy to add a healthy twist to any dishes I love. Cheers to the world give us great food and wine!Reasons for choosing this

Here is why I chose this project: from my past years of studying in UBC I focus more on the nutritional value of good and the scientific facts behind food and never thought about how do we get access to food. However, this project brings me an opportunity to investigate the surrounding environment and lay my eyes on the different side of food concerns: food insecurity. My passion is to help people achieve a healthier living style, and doing the food asset map will help people to obtain more accessible healthy food. Through this project, I wish I can improve my communication skill and eventually do some down to earth work to help the community we live in.

Alice Hu

I’m a third year student in Food Nutrition and Health major. I love dancing and cooking for the people I love. This project stands out to me the most since UBC is where we spend most of our time studying and living. I learned from another FNH course that first and second year students at UBC are most at risk of experiencing food insecurity. Therefore, I’m excited to step into our community and work with the community partners to gather all the useful information in the food asset map particularly for UBC. It will be benefitcial for every member of this community, especially for new students coming to get to know UBC better. I think LFS 350 would be a great opportunity for us explore a more interesting aspect of the food system.

Group objective

The Vancouver Food Assets Map is an online tool that shows the food assets, which are Food places where people can grow, prepare, share, buy, receive or learn about food, in Vancouver.The map has the following goals: 1. To provide a tool to community members and partners for locating community food assets that is current, easy to use and easily updated. 2.To build community capacity and support food access for community members dealing with food insecurity.3. To make it easier for Vancouver community partners to view and utilize community food assets strategically. The objective of our project is to collect data on all the food assets available on campus and on the UBC endowment lands. Moreover, we will be reviewing the map for current assets and filling in the gaps.

The objective of our project is to collect data on all the food assets available on campus and on the UBC endowment lands. Moreover, we will be reviewing the map for current assets and filling in the gaps.

Community Partner

We will be working closely with Vancouver Costal Health, the organization that is in charge of the development of Vancouver Food Asset Map.

First impression

Although we are all in the faulty of Land and Food System and have been living in Vancouver for quite a few years, none of us has heard about the idea of Vancouver Food Asset Map prior to this class. After reading about the description of project, we all thought this project is very meaningful because it can be a very useful tool for people who are struggling with food security in the city. However, after attending the introduction section presented by Public Health Dietitians Teya and Kathy, we realize this project can be quite a challenge. It is more than just simple data collection. It also requires us to be able to work in a flexible way, such as effectively communicating with community members. Also, the UBC Food Assets Map has not been updated for a while and there might be a big gap for us to fill.

We realize that as university students, we might be confident that we have a lot more book knowledge than the community members. But as Ernesto Sirolli said in his TED talk video , it is to very significant to listen to the needs of community members, understand the local people, before jumping into helping the community.

Therefore, we will be using asset-based community development. Traditional ways of thinking always emphasize on the needs we must meet, the deficiencies we must overcome, and even the problems we must face; asset-based community development, on the other hand, focuses on the capacities and assets we have, it provides an optimistic mental map, and lastly it involves the participation of the community members.

All of us are looking forward to starting the new chapter of UBC food assets map, as we will be making a difference in the society.

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BLOG 4  


           The community-based learning project conducted by our group was done at the Nest at UBC, where we introduced the Vancouver Food Asset Map to the students and interviewed them for their inputs and opinions about the map. The goal of this project was to review the current food assets map, and then build on it by adding new food assets to the map. The questions to be addressed during our data collection included what changes were needed, if the map was easy to follow, and that weather or not they will use the map in the future. The findings from this project will then be taken into account to help improving the Vancouver Food Asset Map with regards to the UBC and its endowment lands.

So what:

The community visits and our survey imply that many of us inside the UBC community are not familiar with the food assets around us even when it’s so close to our life. Many of the students or faculty member we interviewed didn’t aware of the existence of the AMS food bank. When we were doing our survey we thought maybe some of the people we reach will be aware of the food assets but it turns out most of them never thought about it. We wish we could acknowledge the public more about the importance of food assets around school.While we let the people tested out the food asset map we notice a lot people do not have a laptop handy around them, so if we can let them test out the use of map on their phone will be more efficient and useful for the public.I think the food asset map is easy to use however, public usually reach out for more well known and familiar approach such as google map or yelp.

Now what:

There were a few things which we may have tried different approaches to have a better outcome. First, when writing the introduction for our proposal, we didn’t notice that downtown campus was also included when we discussed population living and eating on UBC campus. It made us miss a few informations when we were doing our research about food insecurity and writing our proposal. We would have read through the instruction more detailed, and engage with community partners more often. Also, when we were contacting food assets, mostly we chose to contact them through phone or emails. If we would do this again, we should definitely try physically visits, which may work better for us to gain information, ask questions, and know those assets into more details.

Although our project was not done perfectly, sometimes mistakes and unexpected mess are what can really inspire our creativity, thus we could think more and learn more from them (Harford, 2016). Overall, our group really enjoyed doing this project and worked with the community partners. We did learn a lot from it. Looking forward, we will mainly focus on the presentation showcase and final report.


Harford, T.(2016). Tim Harford How Messy Problems Can Inspire Creativity. (Video file). Retrieved from

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Strategies for a Graceful Dismount


Week 9:

–       Contact food assets and gain as much information as possible through email, phone or interview

–       Continue seeking for possible food assets that we can add to current map

–       Get familiar with data input and complete the excel spreadsheet

Week 10:

–       Assign tasks to group members for writing the final report

–       Prepare for writing the final report and the presentation



Week 8:

–       Received the list from the UBC Endowment Lands of retail food companies who have a business permit to operate in the Endowment Lands.

–       Conducted a list of current food assets on the map, and another list of food assets we can add to current map.

–       Successfully completed the food asset map trailing with UBC food bank and students in the UBC nest, and received feedback from community members.

–      Gained a better understanding on the food asset map.

UBC Food Bank

( source:

The Moment of Significant

Change workshop provided us with an opportunity to reflect on all the significant changes that happened throughout the process of our project. During the tutorial session, Each of us had the chance to rate our knowledge progress and emotional changes through the weeks, and then the ratings were averaged out to show overall significant changes as a group on a graph. This activity gave us an estimate of the performance of our group, and also showed us what is needed to improve.

We drew a graph to reflect our emotion and knowledge changes as a group.  The x –axis represent the week of the term, and the y- axis represent the level of our emotion and knowledge.


Emotion and Knowledge graph


During our reflection, we found a similar trend of increasing for both knowledge and emotions for the first 3 weeks. As we get to know each member more and more and gain more knowledge from the presentation by Teya, both our emotions and knowledge reached the local highest point at week 3. However, our emotion slipped down to negative on week 4 due to our stress and struggle to finish the proposal. Our knowledge also decreased slightly on this week because we were confused by the instructions of the proposal, and realized that we actually didn’t understand some things that we thought we did.  As we finish up the proposal in week 5, our emotion and knowledge raised again because we were happy about our completion and gained more knowledge about the project.  The Monday of week 6 was Family Day and it was followed by the reading break. These breaks gave us emotional boost.

We expect our knowledge base to increase steadily till the end of the course and reach a high point in week 12, however, we expect some ups and downs for our emotions throughout the term because of the stress of finishing the final report and presentation.


The Graceful Dismount

In order to ensure that we will meet our weekly objectives, we schedule to meet at least once a week (often Monday after tutorial, or any day if it is a flexible learning day), and always communicate with each other online in the group chat. We will continue to assign tasks to each member and share responsibilities to complete the project.

First, we will analyze the feedback we received from community members in the map trailing, and give advices about how they can improve the map. Next, we will review the food assets in UBC and the UBC Endowment Lands on the current map, and check to see if we need to fix or update any details. Also, we will follow the objectives above to contact the food assets following the list and ask for more information. But we will always send the consent form to them first to ask for permission. By that time, we will all be familiar with how to input data on the excel spreadsheet, and how to put the detailed information on the food asset map.

After we have finished the data collection and data inputs, we will assign different portions of the final report to each group member. Then we will discuss and communicate with each other to finish the report, as well as the presentation slides.



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Project Proposal + Progress



Weekly Objectives and Achievement:


  • Established connection with community partners at Vancouver Coastal Health
    Gathered information about the neighborhood and community partner we will work with.
  • Finalized group proposal
  • Developed a rough action plan.
  • Build a tight connection between group members and evaluated everyone’s strength.

Weekly Objective:

  • Clarify the information collection format with group members.
  • Develop a detailed action plan and divide work between group member according to member’s strength and availability.
  • Communicate about the expectation about the project and make sure no misunderstanding or disagreement.


Moment of Significance


Although we picked the group based on our interests, none of us had heard about Vancouver Food Asset Map before, We also had very limited experience working on this kind of project. Although we get a better idea of the project after listening to the presentation by Teya, the dietitian from our community partner Vancouver Coastal Health, we still feel that we don’t have enough knowledge to start our proposal. There are much uncertainty. One example is we don’t know how to connect the concepts we learned in class, such as food security, to our project. Another example is we have never written a proposal for a project before. Furthermore, all of us didn’t know each other well before, we feel that sometimes we are not fully comfortable of expressing our ideas. For the reasons above, starting the proposal as the first big group assignment, was a challenge for us.  


So what :

Our challenge arises because of unfamiliarity with the concept of Vancouver Food Asset Maps and with different members of the group. The familiarity with food asset maps can be achieved by making sure that group members attend lectures, read required materials, and meet with community partners, then break down the project into smaller and more specific parts for each member. To improve familiarity between group members and to improve performance of the group, one essential factor is of critical importance: trust. Active listening, and respecting the ideas of groups members should be employed to encourage the free expression of ideas within the group, as sharing important information through constant positive communication and interaction has been shown to be highly correlated with high-performing teams (Hakanen, Soudunsaari, 2012).

To start with, we make sure one of attend lecture, did reading,meet community partner , then we decide to break down the parts into three main parts : Introduction, significance, and conclusion. After getting back the draft, we talked to our TA, Francisco, to make sure we understand his comments.  Alison and Alice did the final editing

With the knowledge and understanding from attending lectures and doing the assigned readings for the past few weeks, we are able to start moving forward to begin data collection on assets and work with our community partners.


Now what :

After getting the feedback, we will follow the feedback and proposal to continue our project. We will accept the challenges of facing uncertainties and difficulties because they help us grow and learn. Every member should listen to each other’s ideas and comments and help facilitate every discussion effectively. Try to set deadlines to plan ahead and stick to the plan throughout the term. As a group, we are going to work collaboratively to gather all the useful information for making the UBC food asset map more comprehensive.



Upcoming objectives and strategies

Objective 1 (week 6-7)

– Complete the food asset map trialing session and try to target all the food assets on the UBC campus and endowment lands


      Conduct food asset map trialing at UBC food bank on Monday, March 6th

      Work with community members during the map trialing session, and receive feedback from them in order to better work with our objectives and strategies in later weeks

      Contact the UBC Endowment Lands to get the list of retail food companies who have a business permit to operate in the Endowment Lands


Objective 2 (week 8-9)

      Effectively collect data of the food assets and get familiar with data input


      Contact the food assets and gain as much information as possible through phone, email, or interview

      Understand the processes of data collection and data input (using spreadsheet), and how we can add new information in the current map

      Group members keep looking for other food assets available on the UBC campus and endowment lands that we could add to the existing data

Objective 3 (week 10-12)

      Understand the strategies and requirements for completing the final report/presentation, and review our achievements about what we have done in order to sustain food security in communities.


      Discuss within the group and assign different tasks to each member

      Group members should take our own responsibilities, and complete the project according to the requirements and rubrics

      Discuss with TA and Teya for some suggestions and expectations

      Gain feedback from communities for the final project



Hakanen, M., Soudunsaari, A.(2012). Building trust in high-performing teams. Technology Innovation Management Review. Retrieved from

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