Community Meal Case Study – Hari Krishna Temple, Burnaby






Project Summary


Conduct an analysis of a faith-based community meal program, focusing on how organizational goals are met through kitchens and food-related activities.

Areas of Focus

  • Community and faith-based meal programs
  • Community food assets
  • Municipal food system policy


  • Institutional food system analysis
  • Case study design
  • Interviewing
  • Site observations


Background Information

The Regional Food System Strategy (RFSS) was adopted by Metro Vancouver in 2011, with a vision to create, “a sustainable, resilient and healthy food system that will contribute to the well-being of all residents and the economic prosperity of the region while conserving our ecological legacy.” This food system approach illustrates the multiple ways food reaches our plates and the linkages among agencies, the private sector and communities working on food issues. The RFSS contains five goals and twenty-one strategies (see below) that highlight opportunities for all levels of government, the private sector, and civil society to advance actions that support the vision and public benefits derived from the regional food system. s Canada make a difference in the lives of Veterans and their families, provide essential services within our communities, and Remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country.

While the broad framework of the RFSS considers the role of stakeholders across the entire food system, the Regional Food System Action Plan (Action Plan) adopts a narrower focus on actions that local governments are planning to undertake in the next 3-5 years that will concretely advance implementation of the RFSS. It also identifies a number of new strategic and collaborative actions that local governments can undertake together to advance efforts toward a resilient and sustainable food system in Metro Vancouver. The Action Plan is set within the context of the dedicated, progressive and innovative work already accomplished or underway by local governments, civil society groups and other food system stakeholders. In addition, this Action Plan is intended as a reference guide for local governments to learn from each others’ respective actions and experiences.

Project Description

GOAL 4 of the Action Plan

  • Everyone Has Access to Healthy, Culturally Diverse & Affordable Food

The aim of RFSS Goal 4 is to address some of the challenges of food insecurity, given that some residents do not have reliable access to sufficient quantities of nutritious, culturally appropriate food. Barriers to food access can be rooted in physical, social or economic inequities; with ongoing growth pressures and future impacts from climate change, access to food may become more challenging, and not just for vulnerable populations. This goal encompasses some of the broader dimensions of an equitable food system, including working to increase the availability of healthy and nutritious food, as well as access to this food for all residents. It also addresses some of the indirect social benefits (e.g. health, place-making, education, community-building) that accompany the more direct economic and nutrition dividends of urban agriculture. The three strategies target access for those most vulnerable to food insecurity, urban agriculture and the necessity to recover nutritious food.

Groups will contact and visit an assigned community meal program. Using a standardized questionnaire, and observations, groups will document how organizational goals are met through kitchens and food-related activities. The Hari Krishna Temple in Burnaby has a Sunday Feast of vegetarian food open to all.

Skills Preferred

  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Organized and able to work independently
  • Able to use Microsoft Excel
  • Ability to articulate organizational food system components, both physical and social
  • Understanding of sustainable food systems, and role of food in community development processes

Skills to Be Developed

  • Institutional and organizational food system analysis
  • Community development analysis
  • Observational and analytical skills
  • Interviewing and communication skills

Project Location

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Timing is flexible based on student and facility schedules.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • None available for this project although students are encouraged to volunteer with the assigned community organization if possible.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Student will be able to...

  • Articulate how regional food system policy interacts with public food assets in order to promote a healthy, sustainable and just food system.
  • Describe the breadth of an institutional, organizational and/or community food system and how food contributes to organizational objectives
  • Conduct an institutional case study and communicate results back to general public and policy makers