Gordon Neighbourhood House – Pay-What-You-Can Community Lunch

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Project Summary


This project is an exciting opportunity to experience the process of planning, preparing and serving a healthy, low-cost meals to a group of 25-30 guests

  • Plan, implement, and evaluate healthy, low-cost and delicious meals at Gordon Neighbourhood House Community Lunch program

Areas of Focus

  • Food literacy
  • Healthy and low-cost meal planning and preparation


  • Developing healthy and low-cost meals
  • Recipe, meal and dining experience evaluation


Special Considerations

  • Food Safe certification and experience preparing a meals for 25-30 people are an asset!
  • Pay-What-You-Can lunches run on Wednesdays, with volunteers typically working from 10:30am or 11am to 2pm
  • Comfortable with serving food to seniors and members of the community

Background Information

Community Lunches at Gordon House are an opportunity for community members to enjoy a meal together, meet new people, and catch up with friends in a casual environment. The nutritious, low-cost lunches are made possible by a great group of volunteers who prepare, set-up for, serve, and clean-up after the lunch.

The Community Lunches and associated initiatives support our Food Philosophy, and our work as a Good Food Organization. http://cfccanada.ca/good-food-organizations

Organization Information


Gordon Neighbourhood House

Vision + Mission

Vision: As a place-based community organization, we work alongside our community, sister organizations, local businesses and policy-makers to animate and support dynamic programs, services and initiatives that respond to the needs and dreams of the community.

Mission: Gordon Neighbourhood House strives to ensure that the West End of Vancouver is a vibrant and active community, where everyone is empowered to play an active role in civil society.

Principles + Goals

  • Gordon Neighbourhood House offers a wide variety of programs (many of which are related to food).
  • Our Food Philosophy is detailed on our website: http://gordonhouse.org/about-gordon-neighbourhood-house/right-to-food/
  • Gordon Neighbourhood House uses food to nourish our community in a variety of ways, including the facilitation of intercultural exchange and dialogue, community capacity-building, and community development.


  • An understanding that food brings us together and can act as vehicle for community-building.
  • A recognition that all members of our community have a Right to Food based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while also acknowledging that we as a community enjoy various levels of access to food.
  • A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible.
  • A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed.
  • A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
  • A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours.
  • A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world.
  • An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment.
  • A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting.
  • Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Stephanie Shulhan
  • Email: stephanie@gordonhouse.org
  • Address: 1019 Broughton Street
  • Phone: 604 683 2554
  • Website: www.gordonhouse.org
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Description

  • Plan, implement, and evaluate two healthy, low-cost meals with the GNH Community Lunches Pay-What-You-Can program

Skills Preferred

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Basic recipe, meal planning and culinary skills
  • Comfortable with basic food prep (this could be making soup and sandwiches/wraps, or another simple but nutritious meal)

Skills to Be Developed

  • Educational workshop planning
  • Communication with diverse community members
  • Food literacy

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Pay-What-You-Can lunches run on Wednesdays, with volunteers typically working from 10:30am or 11am to 2pm

Project/Partner Orientation

  • Orientation will consist of helping to set-up for and serve community lunch (at least one) at Gordon House in order to get oriented to the kitchen, the chef, the House, and the community.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in community lunches (Monday – Thursday 11am – 2pm)

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about…

  • How to plan and deliver a nutritious, affordable community meal on a budget (as a team!)

I think students will come to appreciate…

  • The importance to seniors and other community members of having a safe, welcoming place to enjoy a community meal that is healthy and affordable.

Students will develop a…

  • Good sense of what goes into running a community lunch program at a non-profit neighbourhood association.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Support in offering community lunches
  • "Fresh" perspectives on our typical menu items and community lunch process
source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/Fall2016/GNH_PWYC