“It is already our last blog post and our community project with Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre is coming to an end.”

Weekly Objectives and Achievements:

Objectives for Mar 19th -25th

  • Finalize outreach material
  • Get confirmation from Carin and start contacting farmers
  • Complete the infographic and prepare for the final presentation

Objectives for March 25th- April 1st

  • Complete Blog 4
  • Work on the final report
    • We plan to refer to the Harper Adams University Guide to Writing up Science Based Practical Reports to ensure our report is coherent and follows grammatical and academic reference guidelines

Our Achievements

We have finalized our outreach materials and have started the initial process of contacting local farms. We have also completed our infographic and successfully presented our findings to community partners and other LFS students. We are so grateful to have been a part of this community project with Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre to address food insecurity in the Downtown Eastside community by connecting children and families to fresh local food.

Check out our Ray-Cam Farm2Family flyer below!


Moment of Significance:


Looking back in the past three months, we can agree that the most significant moment for us during this Farm2Family project would be the final poster presentation. It was at this time that we all realized the impact our community project had. Due to the nature of our project, our end results did not consist of numbers or statistics. Because of this, some of us were uncertain if we had done enough to lay the foundations of the Farm2Family program, questioning the effectiveness of our project results and impact. Despite this, once we received our community partner approval, we began the initial process of contacting local farms on Sunday, March 25.

To our surprise, the following day at the poster presentation, we received news from our community partner that she has already received four responses from local farms who have shown interest in partnering in the Farm2Family program. Furthermore, during our poster presentation, we made a connection with a woman who works with the BC Farmers’ Markets Association who wanted to promote the Farm2Family project.

Overall, our presentation was well received and we had positive feedback about our infographic (which we have attached) and our work on this project from Dr. Will Valley and our community partner.


So What?

This particular moment made us realize just how big the potential of Farm2Family can be. Through the unexpected connection with a BC Farmers’ Markets Association member, we saw the reality of the Asset-Based-Community-Development approach as it demonstrated how the community can work together, using its strengths to improve community food security. As our community partner, Carin, stated, “There are so many solutions addressing similar problems. We need to do this more often; where we come together and put solutions together” – its takes communicating, networking, and discussions.

Often, low food accessibility and the dependence on donated food in the DTES constrain the ability of community members to exercise their right to make food choices and to acquire fresh, healthy, and nutritious food. The nutritional needs of individuals are negatively impacted by the limited products offered by charitable providers, who often consider their own focus, interests and operational needs over the needs of recipients. Many food providers are closed on weekends, holidays, and evenings. The food supply is often limited and, as a result, people line-up and even fight for food; food supplies often fail to satisfy demand, making food accessibility in DTES more challenging (Miewald, Carrasco & Turner, 2010). In addition, some food suppliers only target specific groups of populations, such as women, youth, and sex workers. Statistically, indigenous women with children report the highest incidence of food insecurity (Li et al., 2016). The greater vulnerability of women to food insecurity has accelerated the development of women-targeted services, with 20% of the food charities in DTES serving women exclusively (Miewald, Carrasco & Turner, 2010).

The F2F program will also provide food for youth and families, and will supply the DTES with much-demanded fresh produce. In securing fresh produce, the program has grown directly from community demands, improving food justice in the community by increasing distributive justice in the local food system. Whereas food donation programs often require the community to simply accept what’s given, F2F seeks out specific foods based on stated community needs. In conjunction with other food programs offered by Ray-Cam (such as Hot Lunches and Breakfast, Backpack Program, Parent Cooking Program, community kitchen), F2F not only provides food access to those in need, but also encourages families in DTES to engage actively and take up food-related leadership roles by taking initiatives to help build capacity, skills and employability in the area of food acquisition, storage, preparation and delivery.

We are really excited about this opportunity to expand our reach as we continue promoting Farm2Family. Eventually, it would be great to get other community centres in Vancouver involved to increase the scope and impact of this project.


Now What?

Going forward Carin will take the lead contacting farmers and figuring out the logistics of the food donations. We are hopeful that we will receive more responses from farmers who want to participate in the program. Additionally, we now see a need to take data on how Farm2Family impacts the costs of Ray-Cam’s food programs, how much food is donated, and how this will change over time, among other things. In the future, if many farmers respond and there is an excess of donations, it may also be beneficial to expand this program to include other Vancouver (and Downtown Eastside) community centres (i.e. Gordon Neighborhood House).


Lastly, we would like to thank the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre for allowing us to partner with them on this project! We all feel that we gained valuable life experience and skills applicable to our professional endeavours. We look forward to hearing more about the programs progress from Carin, and we would like to thank her personally for sharing her vision for Farm2Family with us.

THANK YOU! – Yolanda, Ednelyn, Angela, Skylar, and Adam 🙂


Rahmberg, C. (2018). Personal Communication.

Harpers Adams University. (n.d.) Writing up Science Based Practical Reports: Study Advice Guide. Retrieved From: https://cdn.harper-adams.ac.uk/document/page/127_Writing-up-Science-based-Practical-Reports.pdf

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.

Miewald, C., Ibanez-Carrasco, F., & Turner, S. (2010). Negotiating the Local Food Environment: The Lived Experience of Food Access for Low-Income People Living With HIV/AIDS. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 5(4), 510–525. https://doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2010.530550

Li, N., Tarasuk, V., Zhang, R., Kurrein, M., Harris, T., Gustin, S., & Rasali, D. (2016). Priority health equity indicators for British Columbia: Household food insecurity indicator report, p.44. Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Retrieved from http://www.phsa.ca/population-public-health-site/Documents/Household%20food%20insecurity%20in%20BC_full%20report.pdf 




The Graceful Dismount

Weekly Objectives and Achievements:

Objectives for February 26th-March 4th:

Schedule Community Partner Meeting
✅Update Community Partner on progress
✅Update the Blog
Finalize Draft of Brochure, Phone and Email Script, and Local Farms Database

Objectives for March 5th – 11th:

Finish Farmer Vendor List
Finish email and phone scripts
Finish brochure and email flyer
Meet with Carin at Ray-Cam to get materials (such as images for use in the promotional material) and touch base.

Our Achievements:

We recently finished gathering the contact information (name, email, phone, address, etc) for over 60 farmers for our group to contact about participating in Ray-Cam’s Farm2Family initiative. We are also almost done drafting all our promotional materials (email flyer and brochure) and we have finished drafting an email contact script. We were also happy to meet with Carin as a group on March 5th to touch base on our project progress, get feedback on the materials we had already drafted, and obtain images to use in the promotional materials we are making.


Moments of Significance Change 

In our class tutorial on February 26, we participated in a Moment of Significance Change Workshop and created as a group a chart displaying our feelings and knowledge gained throughout the our project. Here, we had the opportunity to reflect on our individual and group progress.

Check out our charts and personal reflections below!

Moments of Significance Charts:

Feelings Chart

Knowledge and Skills Gained Chart


Personal Reflections:

During the tutorial, our group had a chance to draw a graph that shows a pattern of each of our changes in knowledge, skills, and emotions over the course of this project. After looking at my group’s moments of significant change, I felt relieved that we all had a pretty similar emotional change. Personally, I was lost in the beginning of the project since it was the first project that I actually have to work with an organization for sustainable food systems and build contact lists and seek out for donations. However, my group has been working well in supporting and enhancing everyone’s individual learning by giving feedback to each other’s work. Although it was hard to organize my tasks regarding the project, a direct meeting with a community partner gave me better clarification for the upcoming goals. I am so glad that such hands-on experiences have really been contributing in developing my professional skills such as communication and planning.~ Angela 


“Overall, I’ve had great confidence in the goals of our community project. I’ve also been lucky to have dedicated team members. Having a committed community partner in Ray-Cam that has largely shared our vision for this community project has been extraordinarily beneficial as well. The moment of significant change for me was changing the scope of the project from being oriented toward securing a certain number of donations to dedicating ourselves to preparing outreach materials that best represent the interests, values, and goals of Ray-Cam and the local community. There were some frustrations around communication and planning around the busy schedules of everyone involved in the project. However, learning to trust the commitment of everyone participating has relieved a lot of the stress this caused. It also helped us to develop better communication skills as well as strategies for effectively working around busy and conflicting schedules.” ~Adam


“After the workshop I felt really excited to continue charging ahead with our project. Throughout this project I have felt really grateful for having such respectful, accountable team members and I was glad I was able to let them know about that. I also liked that it was respected for people to have had ~negative~ emotions or feelings (i.e. disappointment) at different points of the project and to share that with their team members and reflect on and learn from that experience. It was nice to get feedback from my team members about their thoughts on this entire process and I was glad to hear that everyone has been on somewhat the same page. My only complaint about the workshop was that I felt it was a bit rushed due to lecture going over time, and I think that we could have benefited from more discussion as a group instead of individual quiet reflection.” ~Skylar


“I felt a lot of uncertainty doing this project. I personally had no experience seeking out donations or had much knowledge about local farms, therefore, I was unsure how to approach the project in the beginning. Thankful for my group members, they helped me have a better grasp about the course of the project. Though it became a little frustrating during times communication was an issue, the workshop made me feel a little relieved as I realized that I was not the only one feeling like this. Thinking about the TED Talk, “How messy problems can inspire creativity”, this workshop allowed us discuss our struggles and frustrations and brainstorm solutions. Regarding our issues of communication, we discussed ways we can effectively communicate with each other and plan out our next steps. The workshop allowed those who were feeling confident to encourage those who were feeling overwhelmed by the project. After the workshop, we can all agree that we felt on the same page and ready to complete this project.” ~Ednelyn


“I personally felt anxious and a little bit uncertainty when we started this project because I had no previous knowledge on food security issues in DTES. But thanks to my responsible and reliable team members I have gained confidence in completing our project. I have felt so grateful for everyone’s valuable contribution understanding that everyone had a really busy schedule which could make communication hard sometimes. It was impressive to see everyone has dedicated themselves to work continuously and vigorously to meet and exceed my/our expectations.The moment of significant change workshop reminded me how time flies fast that we were already halfway through the term. Looking back, I felt so proud of what we have been achieved so far has aligned with our objectives and goals. And it was great to know how my team members had different feelings at different stages of our project. Sharing and be open-minded with each other has made our communication become smoother. My communication, time management, and collaboration skills have improved throughout the project. Knowing that everyone is on the same page, I have gained confidence in finishing our project.” ~Yolanda


Group reflection:

As you can see from the graphs and personal reflections, the journey of this project has been quite a rollercoaster! Though we were all working together as a group, there were times were we felt all over the place; some were feeling great, whereas, others felt overwhelmed and discouraged. A part of the group felt confident and knew exactly what they were doing, whereas, some felt lost. It was not until the Moment Significance Change Workshop discussions and the development of the charts that we realized this as a group.

After having our project proposal approved by our community partner, we were excited to get things started. We aimed high and set the goal of contacting 100 local farms to receive as much donations as possible. However, as the end of project drew closer, we became unsure if we would even get to the point of contacting farmers. A little discouraged, we turned to the quote,Without a certain amount of anxiety and risk, there’s a limit to how much learning occurs(Shulman, 2005, p. 18).

Through our uncertainty, we came to learn that it was more important to ensure that the reason and significance of Ray-Cam’s Farm2Family Program can be easily understood by the community. Taking an Asset-Based Community Development approach, we focused on Ray-Cam’s strengths in outreach and community-building. In linking local farmers with the DTES community, we hope to improve food security by ensuring access to adequate fresh, nutritious and culturally appropriate food “through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices and equal access for everyone” (Bellows & Hamm, 2003, p.107).

We argue that acknowledging food right as a human right and adopting a food justice lens are imperative to identify the social constraints as we address the food insecurity issues in DTES. During the process of collecting farmer’s contact information, we realized that the higher logistic cost associated with distant farm locations may be the main barrier to establishing a partnership between farms and Ray-Cam. We also realized that the materials used for contacting local farms needed to effectively communicate Ray-Cam’s values, goals, and interests. Therefore, as a group we had to shift gears and dedicate more time to developing the contact materials rather than focusing on obtaining a certain number of donations.


Strategies for Project Completion

  • Setting strict deadlines for ourselves for different project components. Continue to follow through with our daily objectives.
  • Maintaining consistent communication among team members in the group chat.
  • Continuously keeping contact with our community partner and asking for feedback.
  • Keep confidence and a positive attitude when facing challenges.

With these in mind, here are our upcoming objectives:

  • Receive a confirmation from Carin regarding the Brochure, Flyer, Email and Phone Script, and Local Farms Database
  • Begin the initial process of contacting local farmers

We are ready! Let’s finish this project!


Bellows, A. C., & Hamm, M. W. (2003). International effects on and inspiration for community food security policies and practices in the USA. Critical Public Health, 13(2), 107-123. doi: 10.1080/0958159031000097652

Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18–25. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ697350.pdf

TED. (2017, January 17). How messy problems can inspire creativity. TED, Tim Harford, London, 2015.[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_j_kw_jZQ

Image credit:







Project Proposal + Progress

 Having the privilege of helping Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre launch their Family2Farm initiative, we finally managed to pass the preliminary stage!


Click here to view the Project Proposal! 


Weekly Objectives and Achievements

Weeks have passed and our project is on the roll! We still have much left to do, but here is what we have accomplished so far!


Moment of Significance


One of the challenges we faced when writing our proposal was framing the project in a way that it would be perceived as promoting the interests of the community. Centered around connecting local farms with the families of the Ray-Cam community, our project aims to encourage farmers to donate excess produce to Ray-Cam. Donated surplus produce would be put to use and would provide fresh, nutritious food to the community served by  Ray-Cam, while allowing farmers to save time and money as they would no longer have to transport or dispose their surplus produce. However, as described in our project proposal feedback, we learned that this concept of donating excess produce may pose a challenge as it may seem like the community is receiving unwanted food or, in other words, “waste”. As a team, we were quite surprised that the Farm2Family initiative could be perceived that way. It made us question the purpose and goals of our project. It also made us focus on the impact it would have on the community and whether it reflected the value of food donations, not as waste, but rather as healthy, fresh produce that is simply unsold.

So What?

As our project relates to Food Waste Recovery which is the process of preventing safe, nutritious, quality food from entering the waste stream (Great Vancouver Food Bank, 2018), it takes advantage of the BC Farmers Tax Incentives. However, this discussion of Food Waste Recovery and tax incentives is a newly studied and debatable topic as a line between which food is acceptable and unacceptable for donation still needs to be defined. For example, a fairly recent article about Greater Vancouver Food Bank brought up the concerns about receiving unwanted donations that were expired or nutritionally inadequate (Lovgeen, 2016). Donations received included foods high in sugar, such as snacks and cookies. Another article demonstrated how the proposed federal tax incentives requires some rigour to distinguish which food is suitable for tax receipts, “rather than just edible food because that’s just a very broad description of food” as stated by Schuurman Hess  (Pawson, 2015).

Demanding the assurance of access to high quality, nutritious food is consistent with the struggle food justice, which is when all people have equal access to safe, healthy, fresh, and high quality food. Katheryn Bradley expands further on this as she explains how “the food justice movement is fundamentally a social justice movement. It takes issue with inequalities in access to food, exploitive labor practices in the food system, and environmental degradation associated with conventional agriculture and environmental racism” (Bradley & Herrera, 2016, p. 100).  With this, we came to learn that power and privilege often plays a role in differentiating whether someone has the physical and financial access to nutritious food. Studies have shown that food insecurity is linked not only to income but to social issues such as race and gender. These often overlooked issues can affect employment options as well as the treatment of others. (Ionescu-Ittu, Glymour, & Kaufman, 2015).

Food justice relates to surplus food because it aligns with social rights and the idea that people deserve food that is nutritious and of good quality. They also have the right to make informed food choices. However, social stigmas can lead to further discrimination against those who are already at risk of food insecurity.

Therefore, understanding this underlying issue, we are now more aware of the importance of ensuring that donated surplus produce is conveyed not as waste but as safe, fresh, nutritious, and valuable.

Now What?

With this in mind, we need to ensure that local farms being contacted understand the purpose of the Farm2Family project and the kinds of donations that the Ray-Cam Community seeks to receive. Some examples include high-quality, fresh, seasonal vegetables and  fruits, as well as dairy, and eggs. As we are currently working on creating a brochure, phone script, and email template that can be used by Ray-Cam when contacting local farms, we also need to make sure that the information provided in these resources reflect the value of utilizing surplus produce and not just giving out “waste” to people. Since fresh produce is perishable, the “good” can turn into “bad” with improper storage. Therefore, the available storage facilities at Ray-Cam needs to be considered. Depending on the shelf life and freshness of produce, the most perishable ones should be utilized first. Through this, we hope to not only encourage donation of fresh, high-quality food but also help Ray-Cam preserve the freshness of produce served to the community.


Upcoming objectives

  • Complete the following resource materials used when contacting local farms by March 1
    • Brochure
    • Flyer
    • Email Script
    • General Lists of Local Farms to be contacted
  • Meet up with Community Partner on March 5 to discuss:
    • Available Storage Facilities
    • Content of resource material
    • Contacting Farm Strategy
  • Target Goal of 100 farms and record data collected into Local Farms Database (spreadsheet)

Strategies to Achieve Upcoming Objectives

  • Divide the contacting task. Using developed brochure, flyer and email to contact farms that are participating in Farmers Markets first and then branch out to other local farms in the community.
  • Use the meeting time with our community partner as efficient as we can and ask for any advice or suggestions that could be made on the brochure and scripts.
  • Continue to communicate with community partner frequently as well as with group members via emails and messenger in order to effectively stay on track.


Bradley, K., & Herrera, H. (2016). Decolonizing food justice: Naming, resisting, and researching colonizing forces in the movement: Decolonizing food justice. Antipode, 48(1), 97-114. 10.1111/anti.12165

Great Vancouver Food Bank. (2018). Food recovery. Retrieved Feb 27, 2018 from: https://www.foodbank.bc.ca/our-programs/food-recovery/

Ionescu-Ittu, R., Glymour, M. M., & Kaufman, J. S. (2015). A difference-in-differences approach to estimate the effect of income-supplementation on food insecurity. Preventive Medicine, 70, 108-116. Doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.11.017

Lovgeen, T. (2016). CBC News. Vancouver Food Bank warns against unwanted donations. Opened bread, tinned alligator meat and spotted-dick pudding among unwanted items. Retrieved Feb 27, 2018 from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-food-bank-warns-against-unwanted-donations-1.3515798

Pawson, C. (2015). CBC News. Greater Vancouver Food Bank concerned over proposed tax incentives for industrial food donations. Worried about ‘bombardment of marshmallows, goose-liver flavoured chewing gum and pet food’. Retrieved Feb 27, 2018 from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/greater-vancouver-food-bank-concerned-over-tax-incentives-for-industrial-food-donations-1.3341301


The Beginnings

Welcome to our blog!


We are a group of UBC students from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, working together with Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre to address the issues of Food Security in the Downtown Eastside Community.  

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security is achieved “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO, 2006, p. 1).


The Ray-Cam 2018 Project: Farm2Family

The purpose of this project is to address Food Insecurity in the Downtown Eastside community by connecting children and families to fresh local food through a Farm2Family program. 

Our Goals:

Through this project, we hope to:

  1. Establish positive relationships with local farmers to develop long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships between Ray-Cam and potential farms.
  2. Further encourage farmers to donate excess and surplus food to supply fresh produce to the community centre by informing farmers about the BC Farmers’ Food Donation Corporate Income Tax Credit.

In addition to this, by connecting children and families to fresh local foods, we would like to contribute to creating community solutions that address food insecurity faced by low income residents. We would also like to take this opportunity to learn more about the Downtown Eastside Community and develop the necessary skills, such listening and understanding, to effectively contribute to strengthening and growth of the community.

Our Project Objectives:

Working alongside our community partner at Ray-Cam, the project objectives are:

  1. To create materials (brochure, phone+email script) for Ray-Cam to use when contacting farmers that explains the benefits of participating in the Farm2Family initiative and BC Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Incentives
  2. To establish a database with a list of local farmers that includes contact information, their willingness to donate, what produce would be available, delivery and pick up logistics of produce and any costs involved.


Why Farm2Family?

We all know that food is a basic necessity of life. However, healthy and nutritious food is not always available and accessible to everyone in Vancouver.  The reason why we chose to work with Ray-Cam Cooperative is because we want everyone, including low-income residents, to have access to high-quality food in a manner that maintains human dignity.

Many people in the Downtown Eastside do not have access to safe, nutritious food due to low-income, unemployment, and rising housing costs. Therefore, many are experiencing food insecurity. This results in the dependence of charitable foods which often fail to meet nutritional needs or lack quality and safety (Fink, 2010).

To address these issues, we believe that the Farm2Family initiative is meaningful as…

  • It allows access to fresh and nutritious produce that is often inadequately provided by food banks to low-income families.

Farm2Family focuses on establishing Food Security at a community level that “maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance and equal access for everyone” (Bellows & Hamm, 2003, p. 107).

  • It directly connects local farmers with the local community.

Farm2Family encourages Food Justice by increasing community autonomy in preparing and eating healthy food (Just Food, 2018). 

By promoting access to fresh and nutritious produce, Farm2Family aims to support low-income families in overcoming the barriers that constrain food choices and promote food insecurity in the Downtown Eastside (Gottlieb and Joshi, 2010).

  • Farm2Family also redirects a waste stream to benefit both the local community and local farmers.

Unsold produce can be put to use rather than being disposed of. Redirecting healthy food from waste streams not only elevates food security by ensuring access to produce for more people, it also reduces or eliminates the costs associated with disposal. In providing farmers with tax benefits under the BC Farmers’ Food Donation Corporate Income Tax Credit, Farm2Family promotes mutually beneficial interactions between farmers and the local community.


More About Our Community Partner

Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre is located between the Strathcona Neighbourhood of Downtown Eastside and the Hastings Corridor. It was originally established in 1976 as a result of local residents desiring a safe environment for their children and a healthy and affordable access to food.

Now, Ray-Cam is a full-fledged community run service centre offering a variety of childcare programs, educational, recreational, and social activities for families and children, english classes for ESL adults and seniors, and computer labs and exercise rooms, among other things. All of these programs are provided to achieve their mission of empowering community members to use their gifts and strengths to improve life within their community. One of Ray-Cam’s main goals, in which we have to privilege to participate in, is to address food insecurity in their community.

More information can be found at http://raycam.com/ .


Meet the Team!

Hi, my name is Adam Todd!

I’m a third year applied biology student majoring in Food and the Environment. I’m interested in urban farming, regeneration of soil health, and developing connections between local farms and community. I’m a life-long gardener and am passionate about growing food sustainably. I also have a background in community activism and social work. I chose this project because it is a unique opportunity to work with a community I care a lot about and to build a mutually beneficial relationship between this community and local farmers.


Hi, my name is Skylar Kylstra!

I am a third year student majoring in Global Resource Systems, concentrating in soil science and environmental management. I am obsessed with plants and have over 70 plants in my house, so come to me with your houseplant woes. I also love yoga, reading, and going to concerts.



Hi, my name is Yolanda Huo!

I’m a 4th year student majoring in Food, Nutrition and Health. I’m really into health and fitness, I enjoy cooking, baking, travelling and hiking and photography. I chose this project because I would like to learn more about and interact with the Downtown Eastside community as well as bring healthy and nutritious food to this community from farm to table. I hope I could help establish a positive relationship between local farm markets and the community to create a win-win solution where farmers can reduce their food wastes while everyone in the community can have access to fresh and healthy food.


Hi, my name is Ednelyn Pineda!

I am a third year student, majoring in Nutritional Sciences. I am passionate about community and promoting a healthy active lifestyle. I love creating healthier alternatives for meals and desserts and exploring the diverse abundance of local whole foods. Through this, I hope to be able to share the importance of healthy eating while engaging in community. Lastly, I enjoy the outdoors and making each day an adventure!



Hi, my name is Angela Hwang!

I am a third year student majoring in Global Resource Systems program in the faculty of Land and Food Systems. Initially, I began with an interest in biology; however, LFS courses have shifted my interests to food nutrition and global health so I transferred in my second year. I am interested in food nutrition and its importance to food security. In my future, I would like to provide a solid contribution to the general health of community by creating a healthy, safe, and accessible food systems. I’m excited to gain some first hand experiences through this project and it would be very meaningful to be a part of groups working to make a difference in a community.   


Our First Impressions

We had our first orientation at UBC Learning Exchange where we were warmly welcomed to the Downtown Eastside (DTES) Community and met Carin, our community partner.

Coming from different backgrounds, many of us were unfamiliar about the DTES, and to our surprise, the community was more resilient, culturally dynamic, and open-minded than we thought. We learned that people of DTES have diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds, many of which are inspiring artists and creative entrepreneurs. These community members also have a strong sense of social justice who take activist initiatives. Many are demonstrating Food Justice as they fight for equity to ensure that everyone in the community has access to adequate healthy nutritious food.

For example, Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre demonstrates Food Justice through their Farm2Family initiative which seeks to provide access to fresh and nutritious produce to low income families. In our visit to the community centre, we were inspired by Ray-Cam’s dedication to encourage and support the strength and gifts of each community member. Through their individual and family support services, such as educational, recreation and social programs for seniors, children and youth, they create a safe and accepting environment for community members to make successful and fulfilling life choices.

From an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, we learned the importance of recognizing these traits, resources, strengths, and skills that have already developed within the community. By encouraging and strengthening these assets, internal dialogue and engagement between community members can be stimulated, allowing everyone to contribute to community development.

We also learned that the Farm2Family Project was initiated by the families within the Ray-Cam Community who desired fresh local produce for their children. This relates to Ernesto Sirolli’s TED Talk, as it displays how the community knows themselves the best. They know their needs and their strengths. Therefore, before focusing on the challenges the community faces, we first need to understand the historical, social, and political background of the community. In simpler terms, we need to engage the community, good listeners, and come with a servant’s heart.

With this new outlook, we now have a better understanding of how we can effectively address the Food Security issues of Downtown Eastside. We are excited to partner with Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre as we go on this pursuit of establishing a sustainable “Farm2Family” system for the Ray-Cam Community.


Bellows, A. C., & Hamm, M. W. (2003). International effects on and inspiration for community food security policies and practices in the USA. Critical Public Health, 13(2), 107-123. doi: 10.1080/0958159031000097652

Fink, T. (2010, February 17). Food-policy failures fan hunger and poverty. The Georgia Straight. Retrieved from https://www.straight.com/article-290517/vancouver/foodpolicy-failures-fan-hunger-and-poverty

Gottlieb, R., & Joshi, A. (2010). Food Justice. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Retrieved February 7, 2018, from Project MUSE database: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/22133 

Just Food. (2018). What is Food Justice? Retrieved February 6, 2018 from: http://justfood.org/advocacy/what-is-food-justice

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.

TED. (2013, November 26). Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM