12. Gordon Neighbourhood House: Measuring Impact of Food Insecurity in the West End


Project Title

Measuring Impact of Food Insecurity in the West End

Organization Name

Gordon Neighbourhood House


Social services, COVID-19, West End Vancouver, Social justice, Community Development

Related Course Concepts

Food justice, Food security, Asset based community development, Social class/income inequality, Cultural identities, Racism, Colonialism

Organization Information

Organization Name

Gordon Neighbourhood House

Mission and Vision of Organization

Vision: A dynamic, diverse neighbourhood where everyone is empowered to play a role in their community. Mission: Moving together to build connection and opportunity in our neighbourhood – for today and tomorrow. Short Motto: Let’s Make Things Happen – For Today & Tomorrow

Guiding Principles + Values

Guiding Organizational Values • Diversity and Inclusion • Respect • Social Justice • Respecting First Nations & Indigenous Peoples • Sustainability • Organizational Excellence • Partnerships 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. Our Food Philosophy is detailed on our website: https://gordonhouse.org/about-gordon-neighbourhood-house/right-to-food/

Our Food Philosophy Principles:

1. An understanding that food brings us together and can act as vehicle for community-building.

2. 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.

3. A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible.

4. A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed.

5. A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.

6. A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours.

7. A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world.

8. An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment.

9. A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting.

10. Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Joey Liu
  • Email: [[1]]
  • Phone: 6046832554  
  • Address: 1019 Broughton Street
  • Website: gordonhouse.org  

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email
  • Best day(s) to contact: Mondays, Wednesdays
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Preferred Platform(s) for Remote Collaboration

  • Email, Zoom
  • The only issue may be I won't be able to get access to our organization's pro zoom account, in which case remote meetings would have to be 40 minutes or less.

Project Description

Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

This project aims to understand and detail the impact of closing the Community Food Hub at Gordon Neighbourhood House and withdrawal of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)'s emergency food services from the West End community beginning at the height of COVID in March 2020. We are specifically noting impacts on lines of race, class, age, ability, etc. as well as any West End specific considerations (e.g. loss of 23 bus line, nature of our population) that have compounded the issue.

Main Project Activities

  • Students will conduct research and potentially do some interviews to understand how people have been impacted (depending on willing participants).
  • They will develop a document or presentation capturing these impacts and provide recommendations.

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

We are seeking recommendations as to what service types/levels are needed in this neighbourhood moving forward without the GVFB, as well as a document, presentation file or infographic that captures stories and facts of how people have been impacted for use in our high level advocacy work.

Intended Project Outcome

  • -We gain a better understanding of how people have been impacted during the height of COVID and what the gaps are in the West End
  • -Community members' voices are heard
  • -We begin making connections to draw community members into finding solutions with us -We share our findings with partners and city to continue our advocacy work

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Good research skills, personable, can quickly develop trust with people (if conducting interviews), critical thinking, taking initiative, understanding of social justice concepts. Experience and/or sensitivity to working with vulnerable populations an asset.

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Students will further develop their understanding of the difference between charity and dignity models of emergency food services, and learn how to integrate research/theoretical based knowledge building with community-based on the ground work.

Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?

  • N/A

Is a criminal record search (CRS) required?


If a criminal record search is required, when should the process be initiated?  

At the first community partner meeting (Wednesday September 16)

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

This is a research-based project so any time is possible. Communication would be during the daytime.

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Due to social distancing, we will not provide any in-person volunteer opportunities at this time. We will let you know if anything comes up!

Required Reading

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

  • Students will receive context about the project during the orientation, and any materials that need to be passed along will be emailed.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • intersectional issues of food security and dignified access to food

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the importance of developing local decentralized food hubs and services (especially during COVID); the challenge of creating services that are flexible and respect different people's needs and experiences, the opportunity to work with community to find solutions (rather than the idea of providing aid)

Through this project, students will develop...

  • critical thinking skills and research skills, knowledge of the West End community

Organizational Outcomes

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

  • Supporting our advocacy work and development of dignified food access in the West End; strengthening our understanding so that we can make things happen in collaboration with our partners, municipality and our community members.
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source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/F2020/GordonNeighbourhoodHouse