Pacific Community Resources Society: Institutional Food Purchasing Matrix

Group Blog

Project Summary

Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) would like a food purchasing matrix focused on local, healthy food from ethical suppliers (eg, living wage employers). Students involved in this project will research the current grocery suppliers, and identify different local suppliers that fit in with the PCRS vision. This project is especially relevant for students in the Global Resource Systems program, or who are majoring in food and the environment or food market analysis, and/or who are interested in learning more about ethical purchasing, budgeting, and community food programming. This project builds on a Fall 2015 LFS 350 student project, which identified how much money was spent at the Broadway Youth Resource Centre, what kinds of groceries were bought, and where they were purchased.

Organization Information


Pacific Community Resources Society


Pacific Community Resources provides a range of services, including education programs, employment, housing, and addiction counselling and prevention programs for youth, adults and families from a variety of backgrounds and orientations. We’re an award-winning, accredited, not-for-profit society serving Lower Mainland communities since 1984. We partner with individuals, businesses, other agencies, and governments to achieve our mission.
Our vision is Everyone thriving in strong, healthy communities.
Our mission is Inspiring healthy and inclusive communities through leadership and collaboration.

Primary Contact

  • Name: Andrea Mears
  • Email:
  • Address: #201, 2830 Grandview Hwy, Vancouver
  • Phone: 604-412-7950
  • Website:

Project Description

We worked with a group of students last semester to answer the question ‘what type of food are we spending money on’? They created a report letting us know how much we spent on food at our Broadway Youth Resource Centre (BYRC), what kinds of groceries we bought, and where we bought them. Our goal this semester is to build off their report to create a food purchasing matrix to support our staff in purchasing groceries that are in alignment with agency values. We aim to spend money on local, healthy food from ethical suppliers (eg, living wage employers).This is a research based project, which will investigate our current grocery suppliers, as well as look at different local suppliers that fit in with our vision.
This project is part of a larger scale plan to integrate ideas of food literacy and food security into our agency. Poverty is one of the main reasons why people are hungry, and income and food distribution inequities are increasing in our communities. This means some residents experience conditions of malnutrition, and others face health concerns such as obesity and diabetes due to unhealthy food choices and eating habits. We notice these trends in the people we serve, and want to work with them to improve dignified access to healthy foods.

Skills Preferred

  • Research skills
  • Writing skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Interest in ethical purchasing

Project Location

PCRS Head Office, 201-2830 Grandview Highway, Vancouver BC. It is accessible by skytrain (Renfrew) and bus (#9, #99 Boundary, #16, #7), as well as on your own off site.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

The office is open from 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. Times are flexible within those hours.

Project/partner orientation
At our initial meeting we will give a quick comprehensive run down of PCRS history, structure and services to provide context for the food matrix project. Later, we will do a site visit at the Broadway Youth Resource Centre so students can get a more hands on sense of the work PCRS does, the participants/clients we serve and why issues of food security are important to our agency.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Student will be learn about...

  • Linking spending to vision
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Community resources

Organizational Outcomes

PCRS will gain...

  • Recommendations for how to proceed with ethical food purchasing
  • An understanding of tradeoffs that are made with different purchasing decisions
  • Ideas to move forward with more food security issues