Food insecurity is getting worse. Before COVID, one in eight Canadians struggled to put good food on the table. During the pandemic, it’s become one in seven—a 39 per cent increase. Food insecurity goes much deeper than hunger. It impacts our physical and mental health, social connection and community, employment and aspirations, family life and more.
Ian Marcuse is the Grandview Woodland Food Connections (GWFC) Coordinator and a long-time CCEC member. He works out of Britannia Community Centre. He is a member of the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network (VNFN), a network of community organizations committed to promoting food security in neighbourhoods across the City of Vancouver. This holiday season we are encouraging our members to support the work of the VNFN and the GWFC as they are providing emergency food for those who need extra support at this time.
Read how Ian Marcuse and the GWFC has responded to the rising food insecurity in our neighbourhood:
At the time of the initial COVID lockdown in mid-March, we deemed food access an essential service and within days mobilized the necessary resources needed for an effective response to COVID food insecurity in East Vancouver. This COVID Emergency Food Home Delivery Program ensures that food is provided in a dignified way including completely barrier free access, home delivery to ensure safety and health are a priority, and an emphasis on quality and highly nutritious foods. Our hampers are especially curated to support healthy outcomes for receiving households.
Since our programs started, we've delivered 6,250 food hampers. But we have also been able to increase our existing capacity in building a more resilient and responsive community food security program by establishing new relations with food suppliers, farmers, referring agencies, funders, volunteers, and new community members who we might never have connected with in the past. More importantly, we have gained new insights and engaged in many conversations with peers, funders, policy makers and others about the systems that cause food insecurity and advocate for a more equitable food system in the long term. Interestingly, COVID has opened an important policy window to push for the change needed and the GWFC is lending a strong and informed voice to the change needed.
520 Households in East Vancouver supported
218,750 lbs of food distributed (average 30lb/box)
120+ volunteers mobilized
3,600 volunteer hrs logged
While a temporary program for us, this response to COVID has been meaningful and important and continues to meet immediate food security needs at the community level by ensuring that the most vulnerable in our community have access to good food. However, as COVID numbers increase, demand for the program continues to grow especially for households with compromised health and facing financial hardship. We now have a waitlist.
Click here to donate to the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network.
Contact Ian to get involved and to make a donation to the Emergency Food Program firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 604-718-5895
If you are experiencing food insecurity or know of someone who needs extra food support at this time, please contact your local Food Bank Community Partner.