DTES Neighbourhod House: Strategies for Accessing Healthy Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Summary

Title: Accessibility & Choice; Healthy Food Security in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Purpose

This project will focus on extracting research by conducting a survey in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside:

  • Students will go to different shelters, drop-in programs, community food service programs and survey kitchen managers to learn about their food programs.
  • The goal is to learn if Downtown Eastside residents with dietary restrictions have access or a choice to consume whole foods, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, organic and other nutrient dense food.

Areas of Focus

  • Asset based community development
  • Strategies for accessing healthy and affordable food
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Vulnerable populations

Skills

  • Willingness to learn more about people experiencing poverty and the food service landscape.
  • Confidence to engage community and non-profits staff.
  • Students should have good time management skills in order to complete all the surveys.
  • Students should be friendly and have a positive attitude when meeting with non-profit organizations.

Other

  • A cleared Criminal Record Check (CRC) will be required for working with vulnerable adults and children (this is a specific CRC)
  • We believe that all jobs are important. This said we expect students, volunteers and staff to show up with a can-do attitude. This is a great role for students who want to understand the scope of food access in the DTES and are outgoing.

Location

Research will take place in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, which is easily accessible by public transit.

Organization Information

Name

Vision + Mission

  • Our Mandate

The mandate of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House is to provide programming, and educational, leadership, social and recreational opportunities to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

  • Our Vision

To provide a dignified welcoming space that creates and supports an improved quality of life for the DTES community.

  • Our Mission

To provide opportunities for residents to meaningfully engage with and contribute to their community in an equitable atmosphere of sharing and learning.

Guiding Principles + Values

The DTES Neighbourhood House [DTES NH] is a secular, locally governed, non- profit centre that is part of a global neighbourhood house movement. Volunteers, staff and Board members work to fortify the voice and ambitions of our neighbours by sustaining a Neighbourhood House in which DTES residents of all ages, genders and ancestries. We are advocates, non-violent, critical of the poverty mentality and the charity model. We challenge the clichés visited upon the materially poor. We work towards dignity and deservedness of all. Operating in a community with one of the highest rates of child poverty and homelessness. The average DTES resident lives with one or more serious health issues, has a compromised immune system and is either homeless or under-housed, many with no access to cooking facilities.

Our impact: We are considered a leader in our Operating & Food Charter.

Transforming the low-income DTES’s “food system” with the “Right to Healthy Food Charter” supporting optional nourishment of whole foods and predominantly plant based meals.

What is not found in the average DTES diet is local seasonal fresh produce; sweets which are healthy (eg dates and figs); dishes made without additives and refined sugars; homemade vinaigrettes; alternatives to dairy products; and generally speaking fresh, identifiable foods. These are the things that the Neighbourhood House works to make available for our neighbours.

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Joanne Webber, Interim Executive Director
  • Email: ed@dtesnhouse.ca
  • Address: 573 East Hastings
  • Phone: 604-215-2030
  • Website: dtesnhouse.ca
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Description

This project will focus on extracting research by conducting a survey in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside:

Students will go to different shelters, drop-in programs, community food service programs and survey kitchen managers to learn about their food programs. The goal is to learn if Downtown Eastside residents with dietary restrictions have access or a choice to consume whole foods, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, organic and other nutrient dense food.

The scope of the project will involve the following:

  • Students review a list of academic material, relevant to food security provided by the downtown eastside neighbourhood house.
  • Students will receive an orientation about the project at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House.
  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in our Nutritional Outreach Program and attend a Right to Food Zine meeting.
  • Students will conduct the survey at pre-determined locations.
  • The survey will be compiled and presented in a report that will include an introduction, methodology, results, reflection and conclusion.

Skills Preferred

  • Willingness to learn more about the Downtown Eastside community and the human right to access fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and whole food meals made without refined sugar and processed food.
  • Willingness to learn more about people living in poverty and their ability to develop resilience and empowerment through opportunity, accessibility and choice.
  • Ability to engage community, non-profits to learn about different community food programs, food security and their reliance in sourcing healthy food.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Daytimes, between 9 am to 5pm Monday through Friday– students must work in teams of 2
  • Nutritional Outreach is for 2 days, once a month, on January 23 and 24th, early morning hours to be determined.

Project/Partner Orientation

Students will be orientated by Program Managers and Leadership Staff. Students will be given a list of academic material, relevant to food security provided by the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • I hope students learn about the barriers residents of the Downtown Eastside face when trying to access healthier food options.
  • We hope students change the perception that people experiencing poverty don’t choose unhealthy food, they eat it because there is no other choice.
  • Many people with serious health issues and dietary restrictions cannot eat much of what is served or they will become sicker.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Up-to-date knowledge about access to healthy food.
  • Students will learn more about Neighbourhood Houses.
  • Develop a community resource highlighting which food programs offer choice and access to those in need.
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2018/dtes-neighbourhod-house/