Group 6 – Quest Food Exchange – Project Upcycle
Quest is a non-profit organization that collects food donations from over 300 donators and sells the products at a marked down price for people in need. There are a range of volunteering opportunities at Quest with many tasks including: preparation of meals, giving cooking lessons, food sales, re-stocking, organizing shelves, disposal of inappropriate foods, recycling, and office work. One of the group 6 members explains that working with Quest is enjoyable since the organization is relatively new, and its coordinators are open-minded towards new ideas. He also mentioned that his experience volunteering at Quest has improved skills in organization, management, and efficiency. However, some of the work may be a bit dry if done for too long (for example, opening jars of expired peanut butter, disposing of the peanut butter, and recycling the empty jars – for four hours).
Group 7 – Quest Food Exchange – Development of Office Manual
Quest food exchange has been around for 23 years, serving the community with low-cost groceries for individuals that find it hard to meet ends. Individuals who are on financial aid or welfare are eligible to receive memberships or vouchers for Quest purchases. They have 3 different locations in the lower mainland, 2 in Vancouver and 1 in Surrey. Quest food exchange’s main goal is to reduce waste and low-cost groceries at their markets and by delivering raw food materials to agencies for their own meal programs. Volunteering opportunities are available for individuals who wish to give back to the community and receiving low-cost food at the same time. For every 4 hours volunteers receiving a $13 voucher to spend at Quest market. But training these individuals is costly and takes up a lot of time, especially when volunteers flake out. This is where group 7 comes in. They are creating a volunteer manual for Quest food exchange to cut down on training time and funding. This will be a take home manual, which will include all the instructions and tools required by volunteers that wish to work at Quest food exchange. Quest has requested that it be a simple and straightforward instruction manual because most volunteers are refugees that may or may not have the adequate language or computer skills.
Group 8 – Kitsilano Neighbourhood House – Linden Tree Place- Development of the accessible Roof Top Garden for Seniors & People with Spinal Cord Injuries
Group 9 – Village Vancouver Transition Society – Kitsilano Transition Village Demonstration Sustainable Neighbourhood (Focus on Food Resilience)
As it is my job to bring the various projects in LFS together and create that network and sense of connectivity, it is also group 9’s job to connect the various projects in Village Vancouver. Village Vancouver is part of a global movement called TransitionTown aimed to reduce foil fuels, so everything is as local as it could get. These projects are situated in Kitsilano. Anybody is welcome to join these initiatives because anyone can make a difference. As witnessed by group 9, everyone seems to have different expertise in different things but they are all pieces of a greater puzzle that pieces together. “ A lot of the people seemed really talented, which is amazing” as one of the members expressed to me their admiration for the interactions amongst the individuals that are involved.
Some of these individual projects and initiatives include community gardens, farmers markets and community pot locks. The involvement within these projects is extremely diversified. People of all ages, all ethnicities and demographics are involved.
But group 9 did face some unforeseen limitations that they believe may have hindered the effectiveness of their project. Some members felt that they were not given enough time to connect to the community, to feel a part of the community. And others felt that the community partners needed to be committed to working with the groups. Many groups faced communication difficulties and hopefully that will be improved for all LFS 350 projects next year.
Group 10 – Village Vancouver Transition Society – Village Vancouver Food Network Food Strategy
Identifying the existing food assets in the Marpole community by looking at food related organizations in the community. They aim to create connections, list the food assets and map them for their community partner. They want to start a food network by connecting Village Vancouver to the Marpole food community to allow for Village Vancouver to make the food assests more resilient and provide aid.
Group 10 has had many ups and downs. They started out working with Village Vancouver however their research project didn’t initially have any research involved in it and was therefore rejected after they presented their CBEL proposal. The group really liked their original project and was disappointed when it fell apart however they began working with Eduardo instead. The transition was a difficult one.
Fate stepped in and reintroduced their community partner into their lives when a few group members ran into him at the Vancouver Food Policy meeting. He wasn’t aware that they weren’t going to be working with him anymore so the group members felt extremely awkward and were furiously whispering to each other during the meeting trying to figure out if they should just quietly leave. Eventually they made contact with him and informed him that their original project was about to be sacked because it lacked a research aspect. They were able to work out a new project with him after discussing things for half an hour and were back on track to working with Village Vancouver!
They are now on their way to achieving their research goals.
This group consists of a collection of strong personalities, different work styles, and has had to deal with lots of compromise due to busy school schedules. Many of the members are interested in furthering their studies with Village Vancouver through directed studies. Their biggest challenge has been communicating with their community partner and deciding on the boundaries of their project to ensure tangible results. They have had lots of help from their TA and their break out room peers! They’ve had a rough start but feel like they are on the road to accomplishing their goals and have used the hardships to become even better at working together and feel more equipped to dealing with similar problems in real life situations.