Infographic & Presentation

Welcome to our last blog post! As the term winds down, we are working hard to tie up the loose ends of our project and work hard on our final report. We have been happy with the results and progress of our project and hope that we can continue this in completing our final report. In this blog post, we will be discussing our experience in creating and presenting our infographic.


Recently, we had the opportunity to present our findings in a poster presentation in the Nest at UBC. A couple of our group members created an infographic, that summarized our project, while a few others presented it to people walking through the Nest. The infographic was a great way to summarize our findings and project on a large poster size paper, and the public nature of the presentation was a good opportunity to spread our research to other students and faculty. We were able to engage our peers in our project, by presenting a little bit of our methods from our project and by answering questions.

In creating our infographic, we used the program called piktochart. This program allowed us to create a poster that was suitable and personalized to our project and findings. It was a relatively easy program to use and resulted in a very appealing end product.

Presenting our project and seeing our infographic in print was truly amazing. It felt like all of our hard work throughout the term has paid off! We were really proud of ourselves and the hard work that we had put into our project, which made it much easier to present and share our findings with others.

So What

Producing the infographic was an important part in our learning, as this is a skill that could be important for our use in the future, whether it be for another class or job. It allowed us to summarize our most important findings, in a few sentences, while also making the poster attractive and appealing, so that people would stop and learn more about our research.

In addition, a few of us were able to develop our public speaking skills in the presentation. This was a good opportunity for us to learn how to convey our findings in layperson terms and learn how to facilitate a discussion with the public around food security and food justice. From this, we were able to bring more awareness to concepts that we have learned in class, so that the public can be more mindful of the issues that surround food security and food justice.

Now What

“In professional education, it is insufficient to learn for the sake of knowledge and understanding alone; one learns in order to engage in practice.” (Shulman, 2005, p. 18) LFS 350 gave us the opportunity to learn about food justice, and allowed us to apply it in our project. Through our project, we developed a better understanding of the concept. We were also able to integrate what we have learned in other courses, in creating and scaling up the recipes.

In completing our project we created three new vegan recipes, in addition to scaling up 8 existing recipes, all of which can be used at GNH to serve the community at their Monday vegan community lunch program. In order to promote a healthier and low-cost diet, GNH can print out the recipes and share them with the community members or provide tips on how to eat healthily and cook a nutritious meal. Our meals can provide inspiration for GNH community members, to cook vegan meals or meals with lots vegetables at home.

Closing remarks 

Time flies, from feeling uncertain about the project to discussing with the community partner to working on the project, we had an opportunity to learn new things and improve our skills. Making infographic and presenting it made us think of the most important findings and outcomes of our projects, what did we learned and what do we want people to know about this project. We felt accomplished after completing our infographic. Our final task would be writing our report  to share our experiences.


Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18–25. Retrieved from

Strategies for a Graceful Dismount

“Everyone is invited to lunch at Gordon Neighbourhood House”

– Gordon Neighbourhood House

Welcome back! We have got a great post ahead, about our most significant change. To find out about our progress, keep on reading.

Since our last blog post, we have changed our focus from gathering information and planning our project, to implementing the steps we have outlined in our proposal. We have started developing and testing vegan recipes that we can scale up for GNH, ensuring that they are within the budget and have the necessary nutrients to satisfy the daily requirements of the community members. When testing some of the recipes that were retrieved from online sources, we found that the serving sizes, spices and some of the ingredients needed to be adjusted. Initially, we thought we could directly multiply the ingredients to serve our target number of guests, but soon realized that the flavour of the spices increased exponentially, and that we would need to adjust accordingly. Through testing the recipes, we can ensure that they are suitable for GNH. This includes falling within the budget, taking into account the availability of food resources and the flavour, as well as the appearance of the food. To see what we have in store for the rest of the term and our plans for completing our project successfully, keep on reading!

Weekly Objectives 

Below we have outlined weekly objectives that we have established, to complete our project on time and successfully:

March 19: We hope by this date we have finished scaling up the recipes we have tested, as well as the ones Katelyn has provided. At this time we would like to start preparing for the presentation, by working on our infographic and practicing our presentation.

March 26: The final presentation of our project.

April 2: By this date, we hope that we have started and will continue to work on our final report.

April 8: Finish and submit our final report and project.


  • Met up as a group to find and develop vegan recipes to test.
  • Tested the three vegan recipes we selected.
  • Started scaling up the recipes Katelyn has provided, taking into account that when scaling up spices you cannot just multiply by the factor you are increasing the recipe by. Instead you must adjust the spices so that they are not too strong.  

Figure 1. Testing the Celery Black Pepper Tofu recipe

Figure 2. Testing the Mexican Bean Rice recipe

Moments of Significant Change

Figure 3. A graph displaying our group’s emotions culminating the past 8 weeks, and a glimpse at what we aspire to achieve in the coming weeks for a successful project completion.

Figure 4. A graph displaying our group’s skills culminating the past 8 weeks, and a glimpse at what we aspire to achieve in the coming weeks for a successful project completion.


Our group’s moment of significant change workshop was an important checkpoint to touch base with each other, and see how we are feeling both individually and as a group about the trajectory of our project. As we discussed the project, many of our highs and lows collected around the same areas. We all shared some frustration regarding our first blogs and project proposal report, but expressed similar hope and plans to succeed as the project comes to a close. Our high point as a group was certainly the visit to GNH to prepare and serve a community lunch, which provided both context and personal connection to the project. This made us more excited about the work we are doing, and gave us a better idea of what our newly created recipes will look like as a part of GNH’s lunch service. When attending GNH to serve the lunch, some of us thought that most of the participants would be of low income or less privileged. This thought was soon banished, as we noticed that the majority of the participants did not appear to be of low income. This provided us with another moment of significance, as we experienced a shift in our perspective of GNH and community lunches in general.

In our graph, each differently colored dot represents a member of our group, and the dotted line represents future project milestones.

So What

Completing the moment of significant change workshop was important for our group, as we were able to check in on each other, and realize that we all have similar feelings. It created a sense of comfort in our group and brought us closer together, so that we can work towards our ultimate goal, of finishing the project successfully. It was also a nice opportunity for us to see how far we have come in developing our skills, and how much more work we need to put into this project to continue to grow those skills.

Our main source of stress and uncertainty seems to stem mostly from feeling uninformed, confused, or in the dark about project guidelines, goals and expected outcomes. We often complete assignments feeling like they adhere to the rubrics and guidelines described, but have been disappointed with the grades we received. It is through these certain amounts of anxiety and uncertainty that learning occurs (Shulman, 2005). We are able to develop the necessary skills we need to confidently rise to the challenges we may face as a professional (Shulman, 2005). Furthermore, failures are significant for tacit cooperation of our group as a whole. This allows us to refine our skills and adjust our approach, so that we grow as individuals and as a group. For the remainder of assignments that will be turned in, we as a group will look at our work through our sharpened lens of what is expected, and hope to receive improved grades as a result.

In addition to feeling disappointed with assignment outcomes, these feelings may represent what a community feels when asset based community development (ABCD) is not used. The community members may feel confused or uninformed if ‘professionals’ feel as though they are benefiting the community by implementing interventions that professionals see fit, but in actuality they do not take the community into consideration. We can draw on these feelings to recall thatas we do not want to marginalize the poor and underprivileged, but instead develop the assets of the disadvantaged (Mathie & Cunningham, 2010). One challenge we may face when using ABCD at GNH, is forming dependency (Mathie & Cunningham, 2010). While developing the recipes we have made a point of trying to incorporate ingredients that will be grown in the GNH gardens and ingredients that they receive from the food bank. This way, we are using one of GNH’s many assets, so that they can continue to use the recipes that we provide and don’t create dependency. However, we have been scaling up the recipes without GNH’s assistance and without showing them how it is done. This means that once the project is complete, GNH may not know how to scale up future recipes, which means they depend on others to do this task. We hope that by providing detailed steps in our final report, and by providing the report to GNH, they will be able to use the skills we have outlined, to assist them in scaling up future recipes and not have to depend on others to complete this task.

Now What

Our strategy for successful project completion is to continue to honor the feedback we receive and apply it to our future actions within the project, as well as use the positive energy felt from the GNH visit to power our way through the completion of our project. As we test and scale up our recipes, we will need to pay attention to the spices used, as we have learned from other courses that the strength of spices increase exponentially, if directly multiplied to the needed serving.

On top of that, by keeping our pace strictly in accordance with the weekly objectives, we can ensure that we will finish our project in a timely and effective manner. We have not come across any conflicts within our group, and are hoping to continue the work ethic that we have established, to the end of the project.

Closing remarks 

In the course of sharing our emotions, knowledge and change in skills, we realized that as a group, we shared lots of similar emotional changes, and gained skills and knowledge through working together as a group on the project. This encourages us to put more effort into the project, with the hope that we can all feel accomplished at the end. This project provides us with a great opportunity to learn more hands-on skills for preparing food and scaling up recipes.


Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2010). From clients to citizens: Asset-based Community Development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474–486. Retrieved on March 24, 2018 from

Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91 (2), 18-25. Retrieved from

Our project proposal & progress

“Together we grow”

– Gordon Neighbourhood House

Welcome back to our blog!

We are now a few weeks into our project and busy getting ready to develop our recipes. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit GNH and participate in preparing and serving a lunch. This was an amazing experience for all of us and we will definitely be drawing on this when completing our project. We developed our project proposal after our meeting with our community partner, Katelyn, which you can read through here: Group #8 Proposal Report

Figure 1. Community lunch meal ticket for GNH’s Meatless Monday

In preparation for the next few weeks, we have created some weekly objectives, as well as highlighted some of our achievements thus far.

Weekly Objectives

March 5: By this time we will have finished our second blog post and will be meeting to find and develop recipes to test.

March 12: We aim to have tested all our recipes by this date and to have started scaling up some of the recipes Katelyn has provided.


  1. Met with our community partner, Katelyn, and discussed the project details.
    • From this meeting we were able to determine the next steps that we needed to take, and gave us the needed information to complete our project proposal.
    • Katelyn gave us inspiration on how to develop our recipes.
  2. Completed our very first blog post!
  3. Completed our project proposal.
  4. Visited GNH to help with the preparation of a lunch.
    • Met staff that informed us about the type of food GNH typically receives from the food bank, and the types of ingredients they normally purchase.
    • Met volunteers that showed us how a typical lunch at GNH was carried out.
    • Helped prepare and serve the lunch.
    • Received feedback from the guests on the food served.

Figure 2. GNH’s community lunch set up

Reflection on a moment of significance


Veganism is commonly associated with white people of privilege (Alkon, A. H., 2011), whereby the white people are made the norm and are allowed to marginalize the other people of colour. This creates structural barriers to inequity in the food system as mentioned in the video by Malik Yankini. However, GNH provides strategies to this barrier by serving vegan community lunches on Mondays. This allows the introduction of vegan foods to the other people of colour and as such, racial discrimination can be eliminated. Furthermore, these vegan meals aim to emphasize on accessibility, inclusivity and improved food literacy among the community members (Gordon Neighbourhood House, 2017). By providing vegan meals, not only can everyone, including those with religious dietary preferences or choices be included, but it can also help to eliminate food insecurity. Community lunches serve as a social assistance that allows food insecure individuals to have adequate and secure access to food.

Upon our visit to GNH during reading break, as two separate groups on two consecutive days, we experienced the process of how the staff at GNH prepared the food for their community lunch. Our group took this opportunity to engage with the community members taking part in the lunch, to determine what they enjoyed about the existing recipes and their suggestions for improvement. Our group members also had a chance to participate in the preparation of a lunch, and work with the head chef as well as some regular volunteers. In addition, we gained a general idea of the amount of ingredients needed for each meal, and the proper meal size served to each person. We also had a chance to look at their storage room to see what ingredients are available on a regular basis to incorporate into our vegan recipes. This included items such as pasta, canned corn, and canned chickpeas. One group observed a Monday lunch, which is when the vegan meals are served, while the other group went on a Tuesday, to observe a meal where meat was served. Therefore, we had the opportunity to compare differences between the two days, including serving size, the budget for that meal and ingredients used, and how the ingredients got to GNH (donation, purchase etc.)

So What?

Visiting GNH was significant for our group, as we were able to get a hands on experience in the preparation of the lunches that GNH serves. It also provided us with some more context in how the lunches are carried out, and what the kitchen and dining facilities offer. This experience will assist us in preparing the vegan recipes, as we can draw on this to determine if a certain recipe will work with the kitchen space and utensils that GNH has and the ingredients that are available to them. Being able to prepare and serve a GNH lunch was an important step in understanding the process from recipe to completion, as well as feel a connection to the community GNH serves.  Another theme we felt with our hands-on experience at GNH was the importance of providing clean and healthy meal options. “Because residents of social housing have low incomes, they are vulnerable to both food insecurity and dietary-related disease.” (Miewald & Ostry, 2014). Since GNH is a resource for many low-income people who may be food insecure, having options like the Meatless Monday vegan meal is important in ensuring the most vulnerable parts of the community have access to nutritious food to keep themselves healthy.

In addition, this experience fully immersed us in asset based community development. We were able to assist the individuals at GNH and gain knowledge on the history of the program, and what skills and assets GNH brings to the table. This ensures that GNH and the community are at the centre of our project. Furthermore, this approach “recognizes and mobilizes the unique capacities and skills in a community” (LFS 350 website, 2018), so that they can grow and implement the recipes we suggest. In this framework, we are able to see how every member of GNH contributes something valuable to the community. This includes the volunteers that help out with the preparation and serving of the lunches and the participants of the lunch, who keep the community lunch program running.

Now What?

Now that we have explored the recommendations set out by the LFS group from last term, on some nutrients that may be lacking in GNH’s lunches, and the type of food that is available to GNH, we can start creating and researching low-cost vegan recipes. With this, we hope that our group’s informational diversity can help us bring together different and unique information (Phillips, K.W., 2014) regarding nutritious vegan recipes, which we can then use to incorporate into our recipe development. In terms of scaling up recipes, we need more information to determine how to correctly scale up spices in the recipes we develop and find, to ensure the flavour of the final product is not too subtle or overpowering. Going forth, a challenge we could possibly face is finding a time we can all meet to test out the vegan recipes we develop or find. In order to avoid this from happening, we will need to plan and set a date early.

To ensure we are on track for completing our project, we have set some goals for us to achieve. First, we would like to discuss the proposal with Katelyn and potentially make changes according to her feedback. We will communicate with Katelyn through email to determine if she would like us to adjust any of our methods, or include/exclude anything from our proposal. Next, we will be scaling up the existing recipes. We will do this using an online calculator, ensuring to make any necessary adjustments. We will also draw on past courses, where we learned how to scale up recipes for a large number of people. This will be followed by brainstorming and creating 3-5 nutritious vegan recipes. For developing and creating our vegan recipes, we will look at the Pulse Canada and The Vegan Society for inspiration. From there we will select a few recipes to test in the kitchen. We will test the new vegan recipes on a small scale, before scaling them up for GNH. We will do this to ensure they taste good and that they are visually appealing. Once we have tested them, we will be able to determine if the recipes are feasible for GNH to recreate on a larger scale. We hope to be able to test the recipes out together, however if this is not possible, we will need to test them individually and combine our results.

Closing remarks

With only four weeks remaining, our project is underway and we are approaching the most crucial stage of our project – that is, scaling and creating new vegan recipes for our community partner. Stay tuned to find out about our progress in creating vegan recipes in our next blog post!


Alkon, A. H. (2011). Cultivating food justice: race, class, and sustainability. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Christiana Miewald & Aleck Ostry (2014). A Warm Meal and a Bed: Intersections of Housing and Food Security in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Housing Studies, 29:6, 709-729.

Gordon Neighbourhood House. (2017). Food Retrieved Janurary 21, 2018, from 

LFS 350 Website. (2018). Session 2 – Food Justice + Asset-Based Community Development. Retrieved February 28 2018, from 

Phillips, K. W. (2014). How Diversity Makes Us Smarter. Retrieved August 24, 2016, from 

Hello and Welcome to our blog!

“Food brings us together and can act as a vehicle for community-building.” 

-Food Philosophy of GNH

We are a group of 5 students from Land and Food Systems at UBC who are dedicated to contributing to our local food system. In spite of our team members coming from different backgrounds and majors, we hope that through this project we will be able to incorporate different perspectives, that will allow us to create a well-rounded, prominent, and feasible outcome. Here we will be sharing our exciting journey with Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH).

Meet the Team 

From left to right in the photo above, we have Melanie Newman, Audrey Valerio, Natalie Goh, Demi Wu and Fifi Zhu. We are group #8 and GNH’s vegan meal planners! We come from a diverse background of majors, with Audrey in GRS, Melanie in Dietetics, Demi and Fifi in Food, Nutrition and Health, and Natalie in Nutritional Sciences. As a whole we are interested in the many aspects of food, including sustainable agriculture, nutrition assessments, cooking, baking and, of course, eating. In our spare time, some of us enjoy staying active by doing pilates and getting outside to ski.

Our reasons for choosing this project

As a group, we are looking forward to getting involved with the community, in a hands on project. We believe this will be an excellent opportunity to apply the concepts we have learned in lectures and course readings to real-life, local situations. We are hoping to gain experience in scaling up recipes for 35 people, using only $25-35 per meal. It will also be an opportunity for us to gain knowledge on vegan meals and how we can plan them to be the most nutritionally adequate for the target population. We anticipate this project will connect us with the local community and allow us to learn more about nutritious vegan diets. We would like to inspire the people that will be consuming our meals to try new foods and explore different options when cooking at home to encourage healthy eating habits that will meet their nutritional needs.

We chose this project since all of us love food and cooking! We want to explore how food can affect a person’s everyday life, and observe how GNH provides this service to the community. Our goal is to create our own vegan recipes that can help locals around GNH to improve their personal health and food literacy. At the same time, we would like to apply what we have learned from class, practice our cooking and planning skills, and do what we can with our skills as LFS students to benefit our community. We believe this will be an excellent opportunity for us to connect with our community outside UBC and learn more about the nutritive aspects of vegan diets.

Our community organization: Gordon Neighbourhood House

Our community organization is Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH), located in the West End of Vancouver. GNH is committed to increasing access to healthy and adequate food for everyone and to using “food to nourish our community” (Gordon Neighbourhood House, 2017). GNH believes in creating a vibrant community through engaging with urban farms, local businesses and policy makers. Within the last couple of years, food services have become a main focus for GNH and have been a way of bringing the community together in a welcoming environment while helping people improve their health and food literacy.  

Our project objectives

After meeting with our community partner, we hope to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Based on the nutrition assessments done by LFS students last term, brainstorm and create 3-5 new recipes that fits the Food Philosophy of GNH, kitchen space, budget, food availability and community needs.
  2. Help scale up existing Indian recipes to suit 35 people using a budget of $25-35 per meal.
  3. Research on food resources in the West End.
  4. Utilize produce grown in the GNH garden, in the vegan meals.

Our first impressions of process-to-date

On January 22 2018, our group met up with our community partner, Gordon Neighbourhood House, to discuss the details of our project, our responsibilities, as well as the objectives we should aim for by the end of this project. Gordon Neighbourhood House, a community hub in Vancouver’s West End, strives to ensure a vibrant and active community in the West End of Vancouver whereby everyone is entitled to play a dynamic role in civil society (Gordon Neighbourhood House, 2017). As a place-based community organization, they work together with their community, sister organizations, local businesses as well as policy-makers to vitalize and assist active programs, services and initiatives that respond to the needs and dreams of the community (Gordon Neighbourhood House, 2017). Additionally, Gordon Neighbourhood House is designed in a way that residents in the West End of Vancouver can treat the area as an extended living room, dining room, and kitchen on a daily basis.  

After our meeting with Katelyn, the community programmer, our group now has a clearer idea on what is expected of us and what we should be providing to Gordon Neighbourhood House at the end of this term. We discussed the types of recipes that they want to scale up, the number of recipes we should come up with, as well as the types of ingredients we should incorporate into the recipes. We must keep in mind that the individuals in the community are the experts and that we are here to help them enhance their best qualities. Therefore, we need to consider the nutritional status of local residents, availability of local foods and GNH’s budget in order to create suitable healthy vegan recipes to enhance the nutritional quality of the meals.

We can offer our suggestions, but at the end of the day we must work alongside the community and the individuals of GNH. As experienced by Ernesto Sirolli, having experts come into the community, perform their work and leave, has not been successful. Instead, we need to approach the project by assisting those in the community to discover their assets. This is part of the reason why we are wanting to integrate some of the produce harvested from the GNH community garden  in our meal plans. By doing this, we are using an asset of GNH to enhance another component of their community. When community members or organizations come together by combining beneficial assets, the positive effects of increasing food literacy and security will be able to spread over multiple areas and members of the community.

The insight from Ernesto Sirolli’s Ted talk was eye opening for us, as we are more accustomed to typical research that involves individuals trying to solve a problem, using the scientific method, and not focusing on the communities assets. We want to use an asset based approach in our project, but also recognize this is the first time we are using this method, and that we may need to be more conscious of how we are performing our work.

As mentioned in Mathie and Cunningham’s paper, called From clients to citizens: Asset-based community development as a strategy for community driven development, ABCD focuses on “formal and informal associations” (p.479). This is a very relevant concept and can be seen in our project. We will need to reference local supermarkets to realistically price and prepare the meals within the given budget. Therefore, we may need to work with local businesses to develop our recipes, which could potentially strengthen the relationship between GNH and local businesses. The more connections and communication that occurs between stakeholders and community members, the better the needs of the community can be identified and met. In addition, both organizations are benefitting and using each others assets to further one another.

Additionally, as mentioned in Ernesto Sirolli’s Ted talk, food justice represents “a transformation of the current food system, including but not limited to eliminating disparities and inequities”, and we feel that Gordon Neighbourhood House is working towards this image of food justice. By creating a welcoming, neutral environment that is available to anyone, GNH provides a centralized collection of resources intended to improve the local food system. They are currently providing lunches from Mondays to Thursdays as a chance for community members to mingle with different people and catch up with friends over a low-cost, accessible meal. By offering to the community these affordable and  high-nutrition lunches, they play a part in eliminating disparities and inequities between the food secure and the vulnerable members of the community. Showing community members easy and inexpensive ways to reach their nutritional requirements instills positive habits and spreads food literacy among those using GNH’s services in the West End.

We, as LFS students, play an important role in ensuring that the new vegan recipes we develop are not only nutritious but at the same time delicious. By doing so, our group hopes that the community members will develop an interest in learning more about new foods and herbs they never knew about, and through this broaden their knowledge so that they are able to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for themselves and their families in the future. Food literacy describes a person’s knowledge on the food system, including the production, preparation and wastage of food. Without food literacy, people may be turning to unhealthy foods due to financial limitation while they are unaware of information and resources that could provide them with healthier, more accessible food. Thus, we believe this project is one of increasing food literacy, that will aim to improve the knowledge of people in the community on how to prepare food, provide their body with nutrients, and avoid food waste.


Our main goals for this project are to create 3-5 vegan recipes for GNH to serve at their Meatless Mondays and to scale up their existing recipes. Our next step will be to visit GNH to assist and observe one of their community lunches, preferably on a Meatless Monday where the vegan meals we will be evaluating and scaling will be served. This will aid us in gaining insight on what a typical meal looks like at GNH, what type of food they serve and what ingredients are available to us, to incorporate into our recipes. We also will get a better picture of why GNH chooses the ingredients and food they do, and how the community reacts to and benefits from the served meals. We will discuss the types of food GNH usually receives from local farms, grocery stores, markets, and donations, if any, with the GNH staff, volunteers and chef. With this, we are eager to get started on our project and assist GNH in developing healthy vegan meals for the community!×684.jpg


Gordon Neighbourhood House. (2017). Food Retrieved Janurary 21, 2018, from

Gordon Neighbourhood House. (2017). Mandate and Retrieved February 5, 2018 from

Mathie, A. & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset- based Community Development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13:5, 474-486. Retrieved February 5, 2018 from

Sirolli, E. (2012). Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! Retrieved from