Welcome to our blog!

We are a team consisting of six unique individuals and are ready to embark on a journey to help the community. Follow our adventure as we navigate uncertainty, befriend our failures, and celebrate successes as a group!

Group Objectives

Our project initiative attempts to focus on the Indian Cultural Centre (Nanak Niwas Gurdawara) as a case study for community food security in the regional food system. The project includes using observation and questionnaires to better understand the methods by which the temple attempts to meet their goals of community food security by eliminating social barriers. Despite having no concrete structure in mind, our group’s interest is to reach out to the Indian Cultural Centre and attempt to help them achieve their goals in serving the community by providing free meals. We will conduct our research using the Asset-Based Community Development model, placing an emphasis on what the community partner has to offer and using our academic knowledge and differing perspectives to assist in the mobilization of pre-existing resources to further develop the community.

Meet Our Team Members:

Jamie Chan | 3rd Year | Food, Nutrition, and Health 


As you can see from the photos, I am a bit of a goofball that is ecstatic about food, karate and the occasional outdoor hiking (depending if the weather is nice).

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

My first impressions to date was a mix of concern and uncertainty as we were told by our TA, Colin that they have not reached out to the community partner yet. The uncertainty of this project was the freedom to go in any direction since we were not given much of a distinct guideline to follow. However, it allowed us to do a little bit of research to find what we were interested in as a group so that made the process easier.  For my interest in this project, I chose the Indian Cultural Centre community meal because of its easy-to-get-to location as well as gaining hands-on experience from this course.

Nisha Takhar | 3rd Year | Food, Nutrition, and Health


My hobbies include kickboxing, yoga, cooking, and of course, eating. I am a massive nerd and an even bigger foodie! 

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

I chose this project because, as a South Asian woman, I grew up going to temples very similar to the Indian Cultural Centre, but was never given an opportunity to think critically about the goals of the temple and how they relate to community food security and food justice. I’m interesting in applying new ideas and concepts I learn in school to the community I am familiar with. I initially felt very anxious about a lack of solid structure. However, I’m looking forward to navigating the uncertainty with my group and collaborating with our community partners. All in all, I am very excited to work on this project and gain some valuable skills!

 Leon Mou | 3rd Year | Food, Nutrition, and Health


My personal interests are anime, basketball, badminton and many other sports. 

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

 The reason I chose this project is because I want to have hands-on experience with the Vancouver food system, just like what we have done in LFS 250. My first impression of process to date is: curiosity. I was not able to know a lot about Indian culture before this activity, and I am curious to know what we are going to observe and learn from the community. I want to know how they try to reach their goals and have food justice implanted in their small circle of community.

Gina Shao | 3rd Year | Nutritional Sciences


During my free time, I love to explore, whether it be in the aspect of nature, finding ways to grow as a person and especially exploring new food to taste everywhere in the world (hopefully!). Exercising takes a big part of my life as well, as striving to be a healthy and happy individual is one of my major life goals.

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

In all honesty, this project was not my first choice of interest, and my first impression was also a mix of emotions since I have no religious or cultural background knowledge in regards to the Indian community. But I am glad that it worked out the way it did since it is close to home, and the most important part of all is that our group members have been very helpful, organized, great at improvisation, and supportive towards each other’s ideas. This type of group dynamic is crucial to overcome difficulties that may arise during the course of this project, and I really look forward to seeing how things turn out at the end!

Seah Hwai Chuin (Kitty) | 3rd Year | Food & Nutritional Sciences 


I love to bake, hike, eat, as well as watching movies/tv series while bundle up in my blanket. 

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

The reason why I chose this project is because I wanted to get hands-on experience with different cultural customs as well as learning the behind-the-scenes of community lunches. Now, being in the land and food system, I began to focus and question myself, what are we really eating? Where does our food come from? What do we do with food waste? And can we help reduce food waste while decreasing food insecurity? When I first found out I got this project, I was excited that I could get to know new people and get more experiences, but at the same time scare because it is an area that I have never touch upon before. However I believe having awesome teammates that came from different backgrounds will help us thrive through this project.

Ruby Cheung | 3rd Year | Food, Nutrition, and Health


My interests include travelling, cooking and of course, eating!

First impressions & Reasons for choosing this project:

The reason behind choosing this project is because I want to explore the culture and food systems of the various ethnic groups, and India is a place where I have very minimal knowledge and access to understand further. Choosing this project will help me fulfill the need of expanding my comfort zone and learn about something that is totally different from my own cultural background. After knowing that I was assigned in this group, uncertainties and concerns were definitely the impressions I get. Since I have absolute zero knowledge about the Indian culture, I have no idea where to start and how will my group members and I help our community partners achieve their goals in food systems. However, I think they are all part of the learning processes that LFS 350 is trying to help us understand.  I hope that through the knowledge that I will learn from participating this community project and LFS 350 (and also previous knowledge from LFS 250), I am able to understand more about how food can interact with people in the communities.

 Community Organization

On 23rd January 2017, we visited the India Cultural Centre of Canada (also called as Nanak Niwas Gurdwara) located in Richmond. The centre consists of a Langar hall (a hall where anybody who enters the temple is able to rest and receive free food), a kitchen, a library, a office, a worship room, and an assembly hall. Before entering the prayer hall, we were all required to remove our shoes and wear a scarf over our head as a sign of respect.

– Scarves have to be tied up like this and flipped back to hide our hair –

We sat down with committee member Mr. Chain Bhaat and were introduced to the purpose and origin of Langar. It was mentioned by Mr Bhaat that even though this is a Sikh temple, anyone is welcome to visit the centre. Mr Bhaat listed out a few of the beliefs that apply to the Sikh religion:

  1. EQUALITY – Everyone may act, look or sound different, but we are all equal. We all have two eyes, one nose, one mouth etc.
  2. KIRAT (WORK) – The Sikh religion teaches that one should earn a living by honest means. Individuals should not take what is rightfully belong to the others.
  3. SEWA (SERVICE) – Sikh service to humanity regardless of any religious or political affiliation. When people come to the temple, volunteers simply distribute the food, no questions asked.

According to Mr. Bhaat, the temple does not serve community free lunch on a daily basis due to the lack of volunteers. Less and less youth are interested in helping out in the temple. The temple has been receiving many food donations from those who visit the temple but due to the lack of helpers, the food is further donated to a third party to be used and distributed. As a result, the temple will only open up their Langar hall during special occasions such as weddings, celebration of birthdays, etc.

After the talk with Mr. Bhaat, he provided us with the contact information for Mr. Balwant Sanghera, another committee member who we will meet with next week to discuss our role in this community partnership.

As a group, we are looking forward to working together with our new community partner and using this project as a learning opportunity to help us develop our skills and enrich our academic experience by implementing what we learn in the classroom in the real world!


Collins, C. (2014). ABCD Animation. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_muFMCLebZ4

Sirolli, E. (2012). Ernesto Sirolli: Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ernesto_sirolli_want_to_help_someone_shut_up_and_listen/transcript?language=en


~ Stay tuned for our next blog post on our progress with the India Cultural Centre – Community Lunch! ~