23 – Vancouver Food Asset Map 1






Project Title

Vancouver Food Asset Map

Organization Name

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)


Community food security, food assets, asset mapping

Organization Information

Organization Name

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)

Mission and Vision of Organization


  • We will be leaders in promoting wellness and ensuring care by focusing on quality and innovation.


  • We are committed to supporting healthy lives in healthy communities with our partners through care, education and research.

Guiding Principles + Values

Our Strategic Framework: Putting People First.

Our people first strategy shapes how we approach our vision, mission, values and goals.

Our VCH strategic priorities is a guiding framework for operational planning, priority setting, and identifying opportunities for strategic investment of time, people and financial resources.

Our Values:

  • Service: We will provide outstanding service and respond to needs in a timely and innovative manner
  • Integrity: We will serve openly and honestly in a caring and compassionate environment
  • Sustainability: We will focus on effectiveness, efficiency, best practices and health outcomes, holding ourselves responsible for results

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Chashma Heinze
  • Email: chashmaheinze@gmail.com
  • Phone: 778-318-6406
  • Website: http://www.vch.ca/public-health/nutrition/food-asset-map
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email, or phone call by schedule. We can arrange a pre-scheduled set number of in-person meetings.

Project Information

Project Description

Overall this project is intended to update the "Free or Low Cost Meals" and "Free or Low Cost Grocery Items" Excel documents that provide data which populates the Vancouver Food Asset Google Map. Also, students can provide a workshop on how to use the Map and get feedback from community members and/or service providers to help continually improve the Map. The key target groups for the Map are community members dealing with food insecurity and service providers supporting these people.

Project Goal

The key student deliverables include:

  • Update Excel documents for the “Free or Low Cost Meals” and “Free or Low Cost Grocery Items” food asset categories to ensure that the information is accurate and that permission has been obtained to share the asset on the Map. Additional assets can be added to these categories. Students can research information online and contact food asset organizations and businesses in person or by phone.
  • Work with interested community partners and organizations (e.g., Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, community centres and service providers who work with food insecure populations) to offer a workshop to show community members and/or service providers how to use the Vancouver Food Asset Map and gather their feedback using the provided evaluation form. The project is open to alternative community engagement activities that will educate about and help the food asset map to be used more widely. This can be discussed with student groups.
  • Write a summary/documentation of the evaluation form responses received from community members and/or service providers.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Good verbal communication and interviewing skills (you have an interest in speaking with members of Richmond community and healthcare professionals). Comfortable in communicating with people over the phone and in person.
  • Good written communication skills (you will be contacting people overseeing various Richmond food assets by email as well as by phone)
  • Good computer skills and proficient in working with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (you will be using Google Maps and Microsoft programs)
  • Data collecting skills (you will be obtaining current, accurate and consistent information using a variety of approaches possibly including internet searches, phone calls, email, and in-person)

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed)

  • Using the online Vancouver Food Asset Mapping (VFAM) tool
  • Providing a workshop on how to use the Vancouver Food Asset Map to community members and/or service providers (or other type of community engagement activity)
  • Obtaining verbal and written feedback from community members and service providers on how the Map can be improved and promoted to individuals or families dealing with food insecurity issues
  • Understanding the complexity and implications of accessing the charitable food system

Criminal record check required?

  • Not required

Project Location

The location will vary based on the food assets and neighbourhoods being updated. Some work can be done over the phone or computer, whereas other work may involve visiting locations in Vancouver. (All locations are expected to be accessible to the public and by transit).

In person meeting location with project coordinator will be determined on a group basis.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Timing is flexible. Pre-scheduled, in-person meetings are best scheduled on Wednesdays, but subject to change.

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

  • Review the existing Food Asset Map, especially the instructions, promotional materials and other examples of maps on the website page.

Relevant Articles:

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Presentation to community partners or other (to be discussed with project mentor).

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • I hope students will learn about how to find food assets in the community
  • I think students will come to appreciate and better understand the wide variety of types of food assets that have the potential to improve the health and nutrition of community members
  • Through this project, students will develop their communication skills.

Organizational Outcomes

  • Updated food asset information for our community partners and community members to have access to food assets available for the Vancouver population.

More broadly, this project advances our organization’s goals by enabling VCH staff to:

  • Provide the best care
  • Promote better health for our communities
  • Develop the best workforce
  • Innovate for sustainability
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2019/VCH1