hua foundation – Food Access Issues in Vancouver’s Chinatown

 

 

 

 

 

Project Summary

In BC’s Lower Mainland, there is the existence of parallel food systems (Gibb & Wittman, 2013) organized along ethno-cultural social groupings. The largest of the non-“mainstream” food system is the Chinese food distribution system, which supports the region through economic, social, and cultural activity. To date, there are only a handful of research papers and publications into the region’s parallel food systems. This project will add to this body of literature.

As documented by hua foundation (2016) that there has been a 50% loss of cultural food assets (stakeholders in the Chinese food distribution system, including grocery stores and butcher shops) in Vancouver’s Chinatown since 2009. This project will contribute to a better understanding of food asset accessibility in the neighbourhood by examining language, cultural, and socio-economic barriers.

Organization Information

Name

Hua Foundation

Mission + Vision

VISION: Our vision is a world where every person is empowered to shape their environment for the better.

MISSION: Our mission is to empower youth in the Asian diaspora to fully participate in advancing social change through exploring our racialized identities and building resilience in communities.

Guiding Principles + Values

Our values are:

  • Courage
  • Healthy, sustainable planet
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Inclusivity
  • Integrity & Honesty
  • Playfulness
  • Humility
  • Compassion

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Kevin Huang
  • Email: kevin@huafoundation.org
  • Address: 418 East Hastings, Vancouver V6A1P7
  • Phone: 604-868-2001
  • Website: huafoundation.org
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email, any time

Project Description

In BC’s Lower Mainland, there is the existence of parallel food systems (Gibb & Wittman, 2013) organized along ethno-cultural social groupings. The largest of the non-“mainstream” food system is the Chinese food distribution system, which supports the region through economic, social, and cultural activity. To date, there are only a handful of research papers and publications into the region’s parallel food systems. This project will add to this body of literature.

As documented by hua foundation (2016) that there has been a 50% loss of cultural food assets (stakeholders in the Chinese food distribution system, including grocery stores and butcher shops) in Vancouver’s Chinatown since 2009. This project will contribute to a better understanding of food asset accessibility in the neighbourhood by examining language, cultural, and socio-economic barriers.

Goals of the Project

Project scope may include the following (to be determined collaboratively):

  • Assessing language-related access of current food assets;
  • Socio-economic analysis of food items and businesses;
  • Social-cohesion benchmarking;
  • Identification of key food hubs, for businesses and consumers;
  • Systems mapping, food distribution, consumer economy activity;
  • Best practices by businesses.

Findings will be presented in a report. This project will contribute data/literature to Chinese food distribution system and/ Chinatown food security discourse. Ideally, the research will identify emerging issues and potential solutions/next steps for stakeholders.

Skills Preferred + To Be Developed

  • Data collection (surveys, cold calling, engaging public), analysis, visualization
  • Experience conducting interviews
  • Lived/work experience working with marginalized community members
  • Cultural competency and intercultural understanding
  • Chinese language skills (written and/or spoken) such as Cantonese, Kaiping (Hoiping), Mandarin, Taishanese (Toisanese), and/or Teochew

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Monday-Friday between 10-6pm. Weekends possible
  • Exact timing of day and hours will depend on project needs

Project/Partner Orientation

  • Students will need to complete an interview with hua foundation staff before proceeding with the project
  • There will be a walking tour of the neighbourhood to provide a project overview and emerging issues

Mandatory readings:

  • hua foundation’s Vancouver Chinatown Food Security report (2016)
  • Gibb, N., & Wittman, H. (2013). Parallel alternatives: Chinese-Canadian Farmers and the Metro Vancouver Local Food Movement. Local Environment. 18(1), 1-19.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about…

  • Students will be able to articulate and describe the lack of representation and misrepresentation of non-white communities in food discourse
  • Different considerations for food accessibility
  • How to apply their skills towards community work

I think students will come to appreciate…

  • Contributions of parallel food systems to our communities
  • A broadened understanding of food security

Students will develop a…

  • An interest in learning more about parallel food systems
  • Sense of how food, culture, communities are connected
  • Advocacy and food justice lens in their future work

Organizational Outcomes

  • Increased academic interest and work towards understanding parallel food systems
  • Further insights into the neighbourhood’s food security/ business landscape
  • Experience working with students and within this course’s requirements and expectations
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2018/HuaFoundation