Our objectives for this upcoming week are to connect with the four community kitchens that we were provided and to find two more community kitchens in the Strathcona area.  We also want to arrange visits to the community kitchens we contacted, hopefully, for next Wednesday, October 20th.  Additionally, a goal for this week is for all members who have not yet completed the TCPS tutorial to receive that certification.  We have done research on the community demographics and so we have a better understanding on our community partners, including how to appropriately approach and communicate with them.

This week, we finalized our project proposal and presented it to our peers.  We received valuable feedback on our project and will take that into consideration in this week’s objectives.  Furthermore, we are working very well as a team; we have delegated responsibilities and agreed upon a schedule.  


In doing research for our project proposal, we came across demographic information for our assigned neighbourhood.  What struck us about these statistics was the high proportion of immigrant families, the larger Aboriginal population than we expected and the wide range of socio-economic status.  This is important in the context of our project because these populations represent the more vulnerable communities in society.

Research has shown that vulnerable populations are more at risk for lower health status due to a lack of social, cultural and economic support (Mundel & Chapman, 2010).  Community kitchens create an environment where individuals can gain knowledge to improve their nutritional status (Engler-Stringer & Berenbaum, 2005) as well as gain social and economic support (Mundel & Chapman, 2010 ).  Therefore, our project is looking to improve access to community kitchens in an area with vulnerable populations, allowing us to make better recommendations.  

Lindiwe Sinbada raised a similar point in her podcast “Grandma Mahembe’s Farm” (Sinbada, 2014).  Food security does not only include having access to enough food calories, but also includes access to culturally and nutritionally appropriate food (Sinbada, 2014).  A goal of our project is to assess how community kitchens accomplish this goal.  In addition, based on the podcast “A Pragmatic Idealist” (Msimang, 2014), understanding people’s needs is vital in providing appropriate assistance.  This is a principle that we wish to apply in our project. We will be acting as a bridge communicating the wants of the non-city owned community kitchens to the City of Vancouver.  By doing so, we hope that community members, especially the vulnerable populations, can develop skills and become more independent. The podcast “The Fish Bank” (Sartin, 2014), encourages the empowerment of individuals to develop skills in order to be more self-sufficient and engaged (Sartin, 2014).  Part of our assessment of the non-city owned community kitchens is to evaluate which programs are in place and which programs could be started.  These programs could take the form of skill-building workshops which would promote Sartin’s view (Sartin, 2014).  

What’s next?

Our first objective is to contact the four community kitchens that we were provided.  We will do this by e-mailing the kitchen managers and following up with phone calls in order to arrange a visit.  Once a visit has been arranged, groups of two will conduct the survey at each community kitchen.  After each visit, we will regroup as a team to discuss larger themes that we each observed at the kitchens that we visited.  Our second goal is to find another two non-city owned community kitchens in the Strathcona area.  This will be accomplished through canvassing the neighbourhood, online research and asking community members.  


Works Cited:

Engler-Stringer, R., & Berenbaum, S. (2005). Collective Kitchens in Canada: A Review of the Literature. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 66. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/220831779?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=14656#center


Mundel, E., & Chapman, G. E. (2010). A Decolonizing Approach To Health Promotion in Canada: The Case of the Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden Project. Health Promotion International, 25(2), 166-173. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daq016


Msimang, S.  (2014, December 10).  A Pragmatic Idealist.  The Moth: True Stories Told Live.   Podcast retrieved from http://themoth.org/posts/stories/a-pragmatic-idealist


Sartin, J. (2014, December 10).  The Fish Bank.  The Moth: True Stories Told Live.  Podcast retrieved from http://themoth.org/posts/stories/the-fish-bank


Sinbada, L. M. (2014, December 10).  Grandma Mahembe’s Farm.  The Moth: True Stories Told Live.  Podcast retrieved from http://themoth.org/posts/stories/grandma-mahembes-farm