Group 1 – Richmond Food Security Society – Food land assessment – City-owned sites
Group 2 – Richmond Food Security Society – Food land assessment – industrial and brownfield sites
Group 3 – Richmond Food Security Society – Exploring the Parallel Food System – A Baseline Assessment of Food Practices and Programs among Chinese-Speaking Organizations in Richmond
Group 4 – Richmond Food Security Society – Mapping Low Income Areas with Community Meals and Kitchens
I’m lucky enough to have convenient access to fresh, nutritious, and affordable food (a minute walk to my closest grocer!) but sadly many people have very poor food security, particularly among the low-income. Richmond is such a place where there is a wide range of food securities and incomes, and it was group 4’s job to map out and measure the spacial gaps between food service outlets and low-income, food insecure households. Many phone calls were made by the team to collect service information from these specialized food establishments to draw out the map. The members did many site visits and helped out during the active hours. As a plus, many made new contacts with dietitians, a huge advantage for many LFS students! The general consensus by the members is that this project made a significant improvement on their time management skills and taught them the frustrations of getting contact from many, many sources.
As the due date for this project is nearing, group 4 is finalizing their results and a conclusion for how food secure the low income households of Richmond are is coming soon.
After analyzing their results, group 4 has now come up with their project conclusion for mapping out Richmond’s low-income areas with corresponding food aid service outlets. The team found that the most food banks and alike services were concentrated centrally – where the highest population density is and therefore the highest amount of food insecure residents. This result was also found in North-eastern Richmond. Group 4 defines these results as spatial strength – where the need of food aids meets the demand in a close proximity.
There were, of course, some downfalls in spatial strength in these areas. One food bank is located in an inconvenient area where there is very low demand. Spacial gap is where the outreach of food aid does not meet the demand. One such area is Steveston and West Richmond, where the team found a high food insecure population and nearly no services offered.
Group 4 has brainstormed some reasons for the spacial gaps observed and suggest that there are no suitable facilities at an affordable lease price in those particular areas. And one thing that the team would like to see more of is more nutrition and cooking classes offered for that particular demographic.
This teams efforts will certainly have use to the City of Richmond’s future food security as it aims to tackle food insecurity.
Group 5 – Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House – Right to Food Interviews
“Out of sight, out of mind.” We sometimes get carried away with our own lives, trying to make ends meet, that we don’t stop to think of other people in our city that may be living hand to mouth. Through group 5’s effort to collect as much information as possible from individuals living in poverty in the Downtown Eastside Neighborhood House, we are able to gain a greater perspective on their thoughts and reflections about the price of living and food in Vancouver. The group was able to interview 18 individuals based on a standardized survey that they had created (see link below for survey questions.) In order to collect all this information, consent had to be given and the surveys were taken verbally and recorder for later transcription due to the language barrier.
Most of these individuals were older adults that were living on welfare. Some limitations that the group reported were the fact that it was a bias group of individuals that wanted to participate and although it was a plus having a multicultural group, it also provided language barriers. The group reported feeling that many individuals seemed interested in participating but may have not been confident in their English skills.
This project was overall worthwhile for group 5, they truly appreciated this opportunity that they received to learn and pilot this discussion that they feel needs to be had more often in our communities. They hope that this data collection could potentially spring on a policy change.