Good Food for All + East Side Boxing Club: Developing Food-Related Career Opportunities for Vulnerable Youth

 

 

 

 

 

Project Summary

Title: Developing a Career Opportunities in Food Program for Vulnerable Youth in East Vancouver

Our goal with the Careers in Food Program is to show vulnerable East Vancouver youth the myriad of food-related jobs and careers available to them. We aim to support youth on their continued path to a healthy and productive life after high school by helping them receive training, secure employment, and embark on a career pathway in the food industry.

  • This project may be segmented into 2 complementary parts: Program Design and Content Creation; and Speaker, Employer, and School Outreach.

Organization Information

Name

Good Food for All and Eastside Boxing Club

Mission + Vision

Good Food for All seeks to increase access, interest, and knowledge of healthy and nutritious food to improve healthy-food security, empower individuals to make healthier food choices, and develop a culture of “good food” in communities, schools, and homes.

Believing that everyone deserves accessibility to exercise, the ESB mission is to be an inclusive community focused gym that delivers high quality boxing training.

Guiding Principles + Values

At Good Food, we believe that all program participants deserve the highest quality services. That means we strive to serve fresh, organic, locally sourced food at our snack program. Our nutrition education workshops are taught by expert dieticians and nutritionists. We have a strictly “no cuppa noddles” policy for stocking our healthy food pantry. The depth and quality of our programs and services reflects our organizational commitment to equality, democratic practices, and community-led programming.

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Elizabeth Fisher
  • Email: beth@goodfoodforall.org
  • Address: 2646 Glen Dr., Vancouver BC V5T 4B5
  • Phone: (778) 938-1255
  • Website: www.goodfoodforall.org
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Description

Good Food for All plans to develop and implement a Careers in Food Program, to be offered to East Vancouver youth attending the Eastside After School Program. The Careers in Food Program will showcase the broad range of careers and job opportunities in the food industry available to youth and lay out concrete steps and trainings required to secure those jobs and careers. Highlights of the program include training on what jobs are available in the food industry, a speaker series with professionals in various food related industries, presentations from hiring companies, and resources on trainings and education available in the city.

We have identified a pressing need for this type of career support for youth in the community. Many youth attending the Eastside After School Program receive little to no career support from their schools or families. They enter into the program in foster care, attend alternative high schools, don’t attend school at all, or are otherwise considered “at-risk”. When entering the program, their focus is not on the future. We have seen incredible positive impacts of the Eastside Afterschool Program - improved grades in school, greater emotional and physical well-being, and overall improved health. In as little as 6 months many youth have gone from day to day survival to looking towards the future. Thanks to our bi-weekly nutrition education sessions, youth are excited about food and nutrition and already seeking out food-related jobs. We aim to build on this excitement and support their interest with a formalized career development program.

The Careers in Food Program will be offered as part of our food and nutrition education programs to youth attending the Eastside After School Program at the Eastside Boxing Club. Good Food for All’s food security and nutrition education programs are an integral part of a holistic suite of services provided to at-risk youth through the Eastside After School Program. On Monday to Friday from 3-5pm the Eastside Boxing Club opens its doors to youth aged 13-19 from the Downtown Eastside, Grandview-Woodlands, Hastings-Sunrise, and Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhoods. Approximately 100 youth, half boys and half girls, attend the program each week. The Eastside Boxing Club partners with community organizations like NICCSS, UNYA, and the Britannia Youth Engagement Project to recruit program participants, the majority of whom are considered at-risk, in foster care or live in group homes, or attending alternative high schools.

The Eastside After School Program enlists community volunteers to lead the youth in workouts, encourages leadership opportunities, provides a space to meet with doctors and nurses, and, through Good Food’s programs, promotes healthy eating habits. Most importantly, the Eastside After School Program offers a safe, healthy, and welcoming community space for youth to go after school. Good Food’s programs play an especially vital role in the success of the Eastside After School Program: food is a major factor in getting youth off the streets and through the door of the Eastside Boxing Club. When surveyed, youth described food as one of the things they enjoyed the most about the Eastside After School Program, in addition to the atmosphere and the relationship with the instructors.

Goals of the Project

Our goal with the Careers in Food Program is to show vulnerable East Vancouver youth the myriad of food-related jobs and careers available to them. We aim to support youth on their continued path to a healthy and productive life after high school by helping them receive training, secure employment, and embark on a career pathway in the food industry.

This project may be segmented into 2 complementary parts: Program Design and Content Creation; and Speaker, Employer, and School Outreach.

Specifics include:

Program Design and Content Creation

  • Conduct market research with youth in Eastside After School Program via surveys and focus groups
  • Research and develop program training modules:
  • Jobs and Careers in Food
  • Resources, Training, and Programs Available
  • Speaker Series: Employers and Mentors
  • Create Program Delivery Plan for internal use
  • Create Careers in Food Handbook for program participants

Deliverables: Program Delivery Plan and Handbook for participants

Speaker, Employer, School Outreach

  • Build a database of schools and programs in food-related industries
  • Develop partnerships with schools and businesses
  • Build a pitch deck for partnerships & matching scholarships
  • Pitch schools/programs

Deliverable: Partner database and pitch deck

The Careers in Food Program is a natural next step for our programming with the Eastside After School Program. Currently, Good Food delivers fresh, nutritionally complete snacks to the Eastside After School Program five times per week. Snacks always include fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy carbs and proteins. We also stock a food pantry at the Eastside Boxing Club with with semi- and non-perishable breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Youth can discreetly access the food pantry on an as-needed basis. We also provide nutrition education for youth in the program. Nutrition education consists of bi-weekly Q&A sessions and quarterly talks from nutritionists. With the help of nutritionists, Good Food for All creates age-appropriate education materials on a range of topics. We also invite nutritionists to give in-depth talks on a quarterly basis. We encourage youth to ask questions about healthy eating and nutrition and work to build their interest and excitement about food and aim to make a direct connection between nutrition education and their eating habits.

Our goal at Good Food is to increase access, interest, and knowledge of healthy food for Vancouver youth. Developing a program to funnel youth into jobs and careers in food will help fulfil that mission.

Skills Preferred + To Be Developed

  • Research, analysis, and outreach
  • Experience or interest in developing food/career/educational programs
  • Branding, marketing, design
  • Experience working with a vulnerable population is an asset

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Students may work on this project on their own time. Any potential meetings or interviews will occur during normal business hours.
  • This project requires students to work remotely.

Project/Partner Orientation

Meeting to be held with Leigh Carter, Program Coordinator at the Eastside Boxing Club to orient students to this program’s major needs and challenges and discuss how the program should be designed to best fit the needs of the participants.

We have also developed an initial list of modules, potential speakers, partners, and schools to be shared with the group upon start of the project. This is best discussed in-person after the project start date due to the potentially sensitive nature of information.

As this project is in its infancy, an in-depth orientation and brainstorming session will be held with Elizabeth Fisher, Executive Director.

Our website, GoodFoodForAll.org along with our social media accounts are excellent places to get a sense of our work.

A cleared Criminal Record Check (CRC) will be required for working with vulnerable adults and children (this is a specific CRC)

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about…

  • The employment challenges faced by vulnerable youth in East Vancouver and corresponding opportunities.
  • The myriad of opportunities available in the growing food industry.
  • Survey and focus group techniques.
  • Outreach and relationship building with business partners.

I think students will come to appreciate…

  • The strength of the community in East Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside.

Students will develop a…

  • A knowledge of building and implementing a new community-based program.
  • Program Delivery Plan and Handbook for participants
  • Partner database and pitch deck

Organizational Outcomes

  1. Strong foundation for implementing a much-needed program
  2. New perspective on research and program development
  3. Pipeline of potential employees and supporters
  4. Program template to potentially expand the career development program
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2018/ESBC