An Update On Our Progress

We have had some exciting advancements in our project. We have now received the full set of data from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, outlining all the information on the best-before-dates of all the products that was received in February. Our policy suggestion can now be built on, as our group has derived an effective way to analyze this data. Although our project with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank is coming to an end, there is a lot of work set out for us within the next month. Given we are on the home stretch, we may potentially have a project scope change (University of British Columbia, 2018), in which we may deviate from our initial project proposal when taking into account our limitations, such as time or resources.

Weekly Objectives & Achievements

  • Will analyze the best-before-date data and determine the amount of products that will be affected with associated policy changes
  • Will create graphs to show how each food bank stream will be affected if the policy were to be shortened
  • Will create our infographic that allows visual elements to represent the relevant information
  • Will begin to think about how we can adequately relay our research to the audience that we may be presenting to
  • Will start on writing the report and effective communication skills, focusing on coherence of our ideas and concepts
  • Will keep in touch with Erin, Kevin, and the rest of the food bank to update them and ask any questions we may have concerning the data

Moment of Significant Change Workshop

During our tutorial, we had the chance to do a “Moments of Significant Change” workshop, in which we got together as a group and did some reflections on the knowledge, experience, and skills we have learned from this course and how do we feel about these changes. Every group member shared moments of significant change related to our Best-before date project in a short form. We chose 8 events that reflect the most significant changes. Individuals ranking were incorporated into the Figure 1.

The “What?”

After starting our project for about 2 months, being able to overcome some challenges as group, we mediated on the moment of significant change diagram. Figure 1 and Figure 2 below are the graphs we drew together in our tutorial.

The “So What?”

The dotted lines at the end of those two graphs stand for our future experience before the end of our project. Which will be a good note when we finalize our project and prepare for the final presentation. These activities allow us to evaluate our current project performance and think about points of improvements. It also gives us a chance to address unexpected issues.

Figure 1. Moments of significance regarding emotion change.

This graph shows our fluctuating feeling of our six group members (each colour corresponds to a different group member) until Feb 27 of this project (events are in chronological order). The vertical axis indicates the levels of emotions, from feeling happy to sad. At the beginning of this project, most of us didn’t have any strong feelings about this project, however there was an overall increased rating after our first group meeting, which continued until our first visit to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and first data collection. In the middle of February, the feelings of our group members began to diverge. This could be explained by our different schedules with classes, work and extracurricular activities. Midterms is an important factor for our decreased emotional levels during the time of our blog posts and proposal report. Understanding the data was the lowest point of our feeling, as we were overwhelmed by the data and confused about how we could use the data to get some useful conclusions.

Learning about how to interpret the data was a significant moment for many of us. As both Shulman (2005) and Harford (2016) emphasized, this uncertainty and “messiness” allowed us to exercise our creativity in order to determine how we will analyze the data. This creativity allowed us to come to a resolution by thinking differently, and adapting to one another’s thought process.

Figure 2. Moments of significance regarding knowledge levels.

This graph shows the moments of significance regarding the facts, knowledge and skills we have learned from this course. Each week brought different challenges. All of our group members were very much in agreement with our significant changes as indicated by the graph. All of us have felt  increased significance from learning about the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to learning how to collect data because most of us never had the chance to get to know the details about the GVFB and blogging was new to all of us.

Now what?

However, our significance toward learning how to write a proposal started decreasing since this was not the first time for us to write a proposal, we have all written some proposals before taking this course. After that, our moments of significance started to rise when we were learning how to read the data sheet. Although all of our group members knew something about Excel, we have learned more about understanding the meanings behind those numbers.

Strategy for Project Completion (Graceful Dismount)

As the term drew to a close, we do not have much time to complete the project. By the act of reflection, we should not always be scrambling last minute to submit our assignments and do our work. Besides, our communication on social platform did not work very well. It will be really tough to work as a group if we lack communication and cannot ensure that everyone is on the same page.

In order to better complete the later work, we have come up with some strategies listed below:

  • Find time outside of class to interpret the data we obtained in February using Excel, and sort out our problems
  • May have our interpreted data checked by community partner, and draw conclusion for our project.
  • Have good communication within the group. Check group chat regularly and response more timely.
  • Set our own deadlines ahead of time, leaving more time for peer feedback and revise.
  • Understand the requirements and tasks need to do for final report and presentation.
  • Assign tasks to each group member more fairly, and help out each other.
  • Consult with our community partner and TA for feedbacks and suggestion, if need be.


Harford, T. (2016). Ted Talk: How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative. Retrieved from

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

University of British Columbia. (2018). LFS 350: Session 8. Retrieved from


An Introduction To Our Project


We are Group #6, and our group members include Lisa Leslie, Ivy Zhao, Zixi Qi, Al Daquioag, Size Chen, and Yu Zhang. We are taking on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank project, which will be assessing and acknowledging practices regarding the best-before-date inventory of the food bank.

About The Project

We have chosen to take on the project with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, where we will be assessing and acknowledging practices regarding best-before-date and nutritional quality of non-perishable goods. We will be performing a nutrition analysis using a sample size of 450 units from each of the food bank’s sources of food items in order to assess the best-before-dates of the inventory. We hope to create a better understanding of how a change in policy regarding distribution of foods past the best-before-dates will affect the quantity of the inventory. The outcome of this project will allow for an improved exchange mechanism for food in order to build a stronger community.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) is a nonprofit organization that works together with others in the food system to support healthy food for all. This includes the right to choose nutritious and safe food with dignity and respect. The mission of the GVFB is to create empowering environments that provide and promote access to healthy food education and training. While the GVFB continue to provide assistance to help address the immediate needs of the community, they also recognize that emergency food as a stand-alone is not a long-term solution. In 2013, they completed the organization’s first strategic plan and are moving beyond food in isolation into a model that helps foster a path towards self-sufficiency. The development of this strategic plan is an example of what we have learned in LFS 350, Asset-based Community Development (ABCD), they have built and served the community. The food bank is a critical component for the “food justice” system as the food bank recognizes the right for food for all members and branched organizations, working to provide communal support. 


First Impressions

During our first encounter with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, we were very surprised to see how the concepts we have learned from LFS could be applied in the real world. First hearing of the concepts in class, it is difficult to truly apply these ideologies until we are exposed to community-based experiences. For example, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank put food security issues in perspective for many of us. Over 6,000 members receive goods from the food bank each week, and the food bank also supports over 75 organizations. Additionally, the amount of goods stored in the warehouse was surprising to us, as crates upon crates line the walls. Many of us were also shocked to see the amount of non-food items that are stored within the warehouse, such as cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. Moreover, the food bank team highlighted the importance of our project, and the significant meaning of the outcome of our research. To move incrementally towards all foods distributed on or before best-before date we must first understand its impact on our food supply. We felt quite shocked to realize the true impact our project will have.

Lisa, a co-worker from the warehouse, gave us a general introduction to this project. She said this project aims to grade food products from the nutrition perspective. Since there are thousands and random products, there is no possible way for volunteers to check every single product that came into the warehouse. Statistic program is used to value the percentage of the population that received the products and people’s nutrition status. Results reflected the nutritional value of the whole donated products. So far, volunteers have already looked at 400 products in each inbound streams (there are five inbound streams of total donations). Lisa mentioned that food bank receives food from different places, like industrial donations and donation bin at Safeway or Walmart.  For all Donations in each of the way, volunteers have to make a sample size of 400 products per months per stream. This project suggests the dignity and trust between the food bank and the community receivers. It also shows the potential impact of the food level when we shift 12 months best-before date to a shorter period.  

About Us

From left to right: Group members Al Daquioag, Yu Zhang, Ivy Zhao, Size Chen, Erin Nichols (Food Quality and Sustainability Manager at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank), Lisa Leslie, and Zixi Qi

Our group interests include a shared passion for the global food and health system, as well as sustainability of our resources. From this experience, we collectively hope to understand how the quantity of food in inventory may be affected by policy changes pertaining to the acceptable time frame of which food or beverages may be distributed past the best-before-date. This includes becoming familiar with various best-before-date formats used across Canada. The project is also a great opportunity for our group members to develop our report writing skills, data collection skills, and communication skills.

Lisa Leslie

I am a Food, Nutrition & Health Major, and for as long as I can remember remember, I have always felt as though my purpose was to share my passion of healthy living. Helping others take small steps towards improved nutritive choices in order to better their health has always been one of the greatest feelings for me.  I adore to share my love for food. Growing up, I would take frequent trips to the Philippines, where my mother was born. It was there that I realized the true implications of food insecurity, and subsequent malnutrition. At a very young age, I had come to realize the important of food and nutrition. My ultimate goal in this project is to help the food bank create a policy that will help both the members and the goals of the GVFB. 

Ivy Zhao

I’m a third year student major in Food and Nutritional Science major. However, with my growing interest in nutrition from prior courses, I might switch to Nutritional Sciences major later. Even so, I can’t live without junk food. I guess the time to sacrifice will come if I’m going to step into nutrition area in the future. I go to gym and boxing regularly.

I used to volunteer at The Salvation Army for almost three years and the experience there made me realize how much I love helping others. That is the major reason I chose to work on this project because I believe such non-profit organizations are very valuable for the society to function. I look forward to participating in this project and doing my best to help with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Zixi Qi

After joining the food and nutrition training program at Wonkwang University, Korea last summer. I decided to focus on the human nutrition in the further study and transferred from applied biology to nutritional science. It was an excellent experience. The training program contained both practical and lecture-based projects which gave me a general sense of human nutrition and how to determine evidence-based medicine. It made me realize that different nutrition status is a life-long effect and we can reduce some potential deficiency effect by simply changing our intake. I really want to learn more in this project.

Al Daquioag

Ever since I was in highschool, I was always interested in nutrition and health, which inclined me to go into the FNH general program at UBC. I started training in the gym when I was 15 years old in order to lose weight and improve my physical health. That was also the time I started to learn about nutrition and how I quickly fell in love with it.

I have work with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank before and it was such an eye opening experience. I learned new things and it had broadened my perspective about how hard a food bank works to deal with food insecurity. I am hoping that this project can help me learn more about food insecurity, and we can do our part to make sure everyone can get nutritious and affordable food.  

Size Chen

As a third-year student in Food and Nutritional Sciences major, I take a series of food science core courses this year; however, I still have passion for nutrition. To me, food science and nutritional science are somehow associated; they cannot be looked separately. With this best-before date inventory project in cooperation with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, I hope to integrate my studies, gain a broader horizon and also touch more on nutrition perspective of food in the meanwhile. I am willing to put efforts into this project, learn more about best-before date and get to appreciate the complexity of industrial food system.

Yu Zhang

I’m begin to take courses about nutrition this year, and this is my first experience to learn nutrition. I think food science is closely related to nutrition, and I have been curious about what I actually eat for a long time. So I have great passion to learn about food or nutrition. I’m pretty excited in this best before date inventory project since I think it can help me to deeply understand food and can have positive influence for my future food choice. Also, food bank contributes a lot to food security in Canada, it would be a treasurable experience for me to witness how industrial food system works.

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing our experience with our project on this blog.

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