We’ve come to the end. To tie a bow on it we would like to reflect on a moment of significance using a model by  Rolfe et al.’s (2001) 

Throughout the course of the term, our group’s performance, uncertainty, and cohesiveness fluctuated dramatically. Despite all of this, we learned to incorporate everyone’s diverse perspectives and experiences, and use these unique qualities to better our project. Our group convened on the last flexible learning session of the term to formulate a plan of action for finishing well, and it could not have gone better. Everyone shared their ideas on how to proceed, and together we articulated an outline for our infographic and presentation.

So what?
Gaining a better understanding of the unique qualities that each group member brought to the table, allowed us to focus on every group members strengths, instead of worrying about each of our weaknesses. As a group, we realized that we were stronger working as a team, rather than adopting the divide and conquer method of splitting up the work into sections. Collaborating in this manner produced a much more cohesive and integrated outcome.

Now what?
In light of our newfound incite into how best we work as a group, we believe that we are more than ready to finish our project successfully and confidently. Moving forward, we aim to maintain great communication, and assist each other in producing the best work possible. We all wish to create an excellent presentation and report that will assist our community partner and future students in learning about the Richmond Food Bank and what it has to offer.


Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

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The Graceful Dismount & A Strategy for Success

Welcome back!

Here is an update of what we have been up to for the past few weeks:

February 27, 2017
This week was relatively calm, as our group was cohesive and on top of things. We finished blog post 2 and graphed our past, present, and future progress in the course during our tutorial session. This allowed us to gain a greater understanding of how all of us were feeling and helped increase group unity.
This week’s objective was to coordinate our schedules with the distribution times of the RFB and get permission to conduct interviews of the RFBs’ clients the following week.

March 6, 2017
As we were fast approaching our work in the community, our group double checked that every member had completed the TCPS tutorial on research ethics.
Next, our group decided to conduct interviews Wednesday and Saturday of this week, (March 8 and 10) respectively. We are still waiting on approval from the RFB though, so we will not proceed until and unless those times are confirmed.
Meanwhile, our objectives for this week are:
1. Complete and submit blog post 3.
2. Confirm with our community partner and conduct our interviews on Wednesday and Saturday.

Our Moment of Significant:

This week’s tutorial contained a workshop about our groups Moment of Significant Change. The instructions were to come up with 2 maps about how we felt throughout the term so far. Since our project was very open ended, we went through many moments of confusion and misunderstandings. Throughout the semester, we tried to ensure to have open lines of communication between faculty, team members and community partners. Our graphs clearly depict the ‘high’ and ‘low’ of our semester so far.

The first graph describes our confidence levels ranging from 0% to 100%. The Timeline goes from Before, During, Feedback, Reformulation, Re-submission, and Final Feedback. We graphed out 3 lines: Blog 1, Meeting (with community partner), and Proposal. For our Blog 1, we began with very much confidence (80%isle) and quickly dropped down to 30% confidence once we received our feedback, due to our very low grade. Once we began reformulating and resubmitting our second draft, our confidence increased to about 70% and went back to the original 80% when we received our final feedback. Our meeting with the community partner followed a different format. Before the meeting, we had about 50% confidence because we were unsure what direction our project was taking. Once we met with them, our confidence peaked to about 85%. We quickly realized that the project would be more difficult than we anticipated, so it slowly decreased to about 70%. Finally, our proposal, which begun with a 60% confidence, quickly decreased to about 40% confidence once we received feedback. It remained relatively low, but increased steadily, until we received our final feedback, where we had about 60% confidence again.

Our second graph depicts if we felt positive, neutral or negative about our projects. We have a Before, During and After x axis and 3 lines: Blog 1, Meeting and Proposal. Our Blog 1 started off with very passivity feelings and dropped significantly during. In the after section, our positivity increased again. Our Meeting took a different turn. We started off feeling neutral and had a peak positivity feeling during the meeting. We soon ended with a mostly positive feeling, but not as high as our peak. Finally, our proposal followed a similar format to Blog 1, but the curves weren’t as extreme. We generally felt more confident about our proposal than our blog post.
It was very interesting to hear the different perspectives of our team members when we came up with these graphs. The first part of the workshop consisted of creating our own graphs individually and then we came together as a group and created a collective graph that represented all our feelings. It was rather difficult to come to a consensus and ‘map out’ our emotions. Overall, we felt that this activity was a rather positive one that helped us have a better understanding of how we could improve in the future. We had a chance to learn about how we could have done things better in the past, and created quick guidelines of how we could avoid these problems in the future.

Strategy for Successful Project Completion (the Graceful Dismount)

This week we undertook our first round of interviews at the Food Bank. It was a great morale boost for the team because we had a chance to really witness our prior planning come into fruition and having the clientele at the Food Bank eager to engage with our study was incredibly encouraging. Our strategy for successful project completion is to firstly identify parts of our survey that could be rectified to accommodate the clientele more appropriately. During our initial interview session we noticed that the language used in the survey as well as that used to conduct the interviews, could be modified to better suit the clientele. Members of the group who conducted the initial interviews will be communicating and giving this feedback to the other group members to ensure that second round of interviews go ahead more smoothly. Once our interviews are completed, we will come together as a group to collect and organize our results before having a sit down with our community partner to brief them on the results and hopefully receive some feedback. Given that the data we collect will be utilized predominately by the Richmond Food Bank, we hope that by sitting down with our community partner we will be able to get a better sense of direction when writing our final report. We designed our survey so that the information we collect is qualitative data and therefore we will be required to analyze the behavior and needs of the clientele and descriptively communicate that in our report. This is no easy task, which means that once we have met with our community partner we will begin to meet more regularly as a group to begin analyzing our data and writing up our report.

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Project Proposal + Progress

Welcome back, 

To update you on what we have been up to here  is our  Weekly Objectives and Achievements:

January 30, 2017
This week began with a bit of a bump in the road. Our group had just begun to discuss formulating our proposal, when we were alerted to the fact that our first blog post had received an extremely low grade. Now both our proposal and our revised first blog post needed attention. We ended up splitting the work load down the middle, with half the group going back to fix up our blog and the other half working on our proposal.
We had a lot of objectives for this week:
1. Complete edits on blog post 1.
2. Visit our community partner (the Richmond Food Bank) for the first time and meet with our contacts to ask some questions and gain more direction for our project.
3. Create a rough draft of our proposal for next week.

February 6, 2017
The meeting with the Richmond Food Bank (RFB) went very well, and our group decided upon conducting a food utilization survey of the RFB’s clients.
Our first blog post had been revised and we were eagerly awaiting our new mark.
We handed in our completed proposal rough draft and received some feedback. We experienced a great deal of uncertainty while reviewing the proposal and the feedback we received, but discussed it at length, and decided upon some revisions.
We agreed that it would be best to avoid a survey, and instead settled on a more interpersonal approach of conducting interviews where clients could express more of an opinion.
The main objective for this week was to complete the revisions of our proposal and submit it by the due date. Here is a PDF of the Final Project Proposal.

February 13, 2017
This week we had a flexible learning session, so our group primarily communicated online. We received some great news in that our first blog post mark had been raised to good standing.
We had submitted our proposal on time and everything was going smoothly, so we turned our attention to formulating our interview questions which was this week’s objective.

February 20, 2017
We achieved the previous week’s objective and have a rough draft of interview questions to show to our contacts at the RFB.
This week our objective is to complete blog post 2, and next our group will meet to discuss when we should go to the RFB to conduct some interviews.
Although we had some bumpy beginnings, this week we are all feeling positive and are eager to continue our work on this project.

With this look into our past we can use  Rolfe et al.’s (2001) reflective model to prepare for the future:

The greatest moment of significance so far with our group was our first meeting with our community parter, the Richmond Food Bank (RFB). Three members of our group were able to go to their main distribution location and meet with our contact to discuss the goals and expectations of our project. We came prepared with questions about how the Food Bank functions, their clientele, and some of the challenges they face.

So What
This meeting was very significant to us, not only because of all the information we were able to obtain, but also because it was our first in person interaction with the community partner at their location. We discovered that they were particularly concerned about the utilization of the food they were giving out, and their demographic. They said this was important to them as they wanted to make sure that the foods they are giving are appropriate for their target population in that they are able to incorporate them easily into their diet. Through this meeting, we were also able to communicate to RFB our specific goals for the project and highlight our group’s interest in nutrition and food justice. With this new found focus, we were able to brainstorm question ideas with our community partner, and discuss the best approach for interviewing the clients. Lastly, this was a significant experience because it was the first time that 2 of our group members had been to the RBF distribution location. Being able to see exactly how the food is given out and the RFB environment is crucial to guide our questions and prepare us for interacting with the clientele.

Now What
Both the information and experience of this meeting will affect our actions throughout the project. Having a solid direction and a sample of interview questions will help us create a final template for the client interviews. Additionally, receiving tips about how to conduct the research means that we will go into the interview process and be more successful. An example of this is that we are now planning to make baked goods to compensate the interviewees for their time, which is something that we hadn’t planned to do earlier. After meeting with the RFB, we also came up with a few more questions to fill in any gaps regarding ethics, and daily operations. This information will guide us the create a suitable set of questions and conduct the interviews in an ethical manner. Most importantly, from this meeting, we now have a real relationship with our community partner and feel comfortable communicating our concerns, questions, and ideas. This new relationship and quest for more information will hopefully lead us to gain all the information necessary for a successful project.

Our near future objectives & strategies to achieve them:

We are currently in the works to make a proper interview format. A google document is open to all group members to review proposed questions and suggest edits.  Also, a weekly e-mail is sent to RFB to ensure that our edits to the document is appropriate.



Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


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I know you’re eager to learn about a groovy project that jives with the Richmond Food Bank Society & The Vancouver Food Strategy, but wait… Before we get into the nitty gritty of our project objectives & related community organization, we will give you some back ground on this Land & Food Systems project process.


Background Information: 

This University of British Columbia undergraduate course is centered around group work related to community based experiential learning. Through a voting process nine of us were put into the Vancouver Food Strategy project group. This project is unique because it is open ended, giving us the opportunity to develop a project revolved around the Vancouver Food Strategy. Our group coordinated to produce project ideas related to this strategy under additional constructs such as being related to SMART goals, Asset-based Community Development (ABCD), and food justice. The following week we gathered all project ideas, and through another voting process we divided the group of nine into two subordinate groups. One group decided to address grafting and the other group decided on coordinating a project revolving around the Richmond Food Bank Society. By clicking the Our Team tab you can learn more about us, the reasons why we chose this project, our interests, and what we wish to gain from this project.


Our Community Organization:

The Richmond Food Bank Society  is located in the municipality of Richmond at the heart of metropolitan Vancouver. The Richmond Food Bank Society provides residents who are food insecure with food to help supplement their diet by connecting people, food, and services that are essential to health and well-being – the hallmark of a caring community. This society was founded in 1983 and it served about 20 families at the time. Today the food bank feeds about 1500 a week and is a registered charity (Richmond Food Bank Society, 2017). The food bank has recently changed the way they distribute food. Previously, they distributed food by providing clients with a basket of food that volunteers had picked out. To improve the food utilization the organisation switched over to more of a grocery store format. Clients now have more choice in determining which food products they would like to consume as they get to pick items from the different food stations resulting in better food utilization. 


Project Objectives & Goals:

We would like to ride the wave of increasing food utilization of clients from the Richmond Food Bank. We will give the Richmond community a voice through interviewing them & enabling them to problem solve towards better food utilization through the means of the food bank. The food bank then better use their assets to fit the community vision. This type of aligns with ABCD because it gives the community of Richmond means to develop within their own assets. This improves community food system because it will improve the access to affordable food which addresses an aspect of Food Justice & the Vancouver Food Strategy. By addressing the SMART acronym we can further make the objectives clear by clarifying goals:

Specific because it is narrowed down to clientele food utilization in the Richmond Food Bank community.

Measurable in making target dates to complete specific tasks, target number of days the interviews will take place, & target number of interviewed people.

Attainable by narrowing down from the broad restraints of the Vancouver Food Strategy project to more specifically how food utilization in the Richmond Food Bank community attributes to this strategy. It is also attainable because we will use an interview method which has been used in the past successfully by the Richmond Food Bank Society. We also make weekly goals to further break down this process to ease attainability.

Relevant because this project is of main interest to our community organization & our own interests of gaining community based experiential learning of our local food system. This will keep our group motivated & engaged throughout the process.

Time-based because this project has due-dates through out this course between January & April 2017. Beyond this we make weekly goals within the team to make sure we abide by the due dates.


Our First Impressions of This Process:

After we had decided to work with the Richmond Food Bank for this project, it all seemed a little anti-climatic. We were all extremely excited by the idea but it was evident early on that we did not have much of a direction for the project. We automatically began talking about the many ways we could make the organization more equitable and the food that it provided to clients more culturally appropriate. These concerns are obviously valid, however we almost instinctively assumed a position of self-congratulatory moral authority and believed that we could, very much heroically “save” the Richmond Food Bank. Many of us in the group had an idea about the sort of work the Food Bank did but had no prior knowledge about the inner workings of the Richmond Food Bank and its clientele. Ironically, as we devised a plan of action and questions we hoped would introduce a more Food Justice orientated approach to the organization, we assumed that the clientele was a homogeneous body of people with certain experiences, struggles and needs. However, as we sat down to meet with our community partner it was evident that the Food Bank had addressed a lot of the concerns we had raised and by sitting down and listening to them we had realized that we had failed to account for complexity. We learnt that the clientele came from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, spoke different languages, lived in different areas of the city and that meant every household had a unique relationship with the Food Bank and the services it provided. We also learned about & saw first hand how the Richmond Food Bank is a strong asset of the Richmond community. After having tentatively listening to our community partner we are now able to identify these differences and create a more appropriate and effective interview to meet the needs of the Richmond Food Bank Society and its clientele.

This was a good first hand experience that looking at a project from a needs point of view is less productive than an community asset point of view. We now know that rather than trying to solve a problem fresh out of the gates it is better to learn from a community first to help liberate their own assets. We hope by interviewing the clientele that we will further more learn about assets that the community can use through the food bank for better food utilization in the community. This will lead to better food justice because the asset of the food being offered can be morphed to better fit with the vision of the community. We now will be excited &  open to learn from this community on their creative solutions to address community assets, Vancouver Food Strategy, & their interpretation of Food Justice.


ABCD Animation. (2014, October 16). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from https://youtu.be/_muFMCLebZ4


Como conseguir doações para o seu projeto social. (2016, December 12). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from https://www.freetheessence.com.br/nova-economia/consumo-colaborativo/doacoes-projeto-social/


Kelly, Q. K. (n.d.). 4.3.5. Overview of Food Utilization and the Value Chain Approach. Retrieved February 06, 2017, from https://www.microlinks.org/good-practice-center/value-chain-wiki/food-utilization-and-value-chain-approach


Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016, Miranda Massie on October 29, 2014, & Colin Hearne on January 7, 2014. (n.d.). SMART goals. Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://www.hr.ubc.ca/healthy-ubc-newsletter/tag/smart-goals/


Richmond Food Bank Society. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://richmondfoodbank.org/


Vancouver, C. O. (n.d.). Vancouver Food Strategy: Building just and sustainable food systems. Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/vancouvers-food-strategy.aspx


WHAT IS FOOD JUSTICE? (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://justfood.org/advocacy/what-is-food-justice





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