14. Kiwassa Neighbourhood House – Community Food Systems in a Pandemic: Service Provision and Neighbourhood Empowerment


Project Title

Community Food Systems in a Pandemic: Service Provision and Neighbourhood Empowerment

Organization Name

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House


Food bank; Community food system; Community food center; Transition; Systemic alternative;

Related Course Concepts

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

Organization Information

Organization Name

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House

Mission and Vision of Organization

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House grows community in the vibrant Hastings-Sunrise and Grandview-Woodland neighbourhoods of East Vancouver, on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səlílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəyəm (Musqueam) Nations.For over 65 years, we have created a welcoming place where people can find a helping hand, a friendly face, services they need, and opportunities to be connected and engaged in their community

Guiding Principles + Values

To cultivate opportunities with people and partners to build a socially just, resilient, and connected community. We strive to identify areas and issues of greatest need within our targeted community, and to initiate programs and services to meet these needs. We strive to bring neighbours together, encouraging them to share their experiences and friendship with each other. We work cooperatively with other agencies to identify, develop and support programs and services offered elsewhere in our community and City.

Contact Information

Preferred Method of Contact

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

Preferred Platform(s) for Remote Collaboration

  • Email, Google Meet, Phone, Zoom

Project Description

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

Kiwassa Food Programs has been operating at the crux between a traditional Food Bank model and the new Community Food Centre approach. This dynamic and the need for critical thought has been heightened during the Covid-19 period as needs are increasing but so too are the potential for systemic alternatives. We would like to see a timeline developed based off out actual experience as a Neighbourhood House food program that is informed by a literature review in order to better understand our current opportunities.

Main Project Activities

  • Literature review in order to look into the various transitions between Food Banks and Community Food Centers
  •     Creation of a timeline from a media analysis and follow-up interviews with actors during this period of time

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

  • Clear timeline of Food Programs trajectory at Kiwassa
  • Literature review that is relevant to our current situation
  • Media analysis and chronology of events
  • Analysis of the current crossroads within food programs at the Neighbourhood House with relation to our general context

Intended Project Outcome

We hope to be able to better provide services to our community through an analysis of our situation from an outside, academically informed perspective.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • critical thinking -basic research abilities -basic interviewing skills

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

  • all the above and -presentation skills -Praxis by implementing research for the good of community -integration within community groups

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


Is a criminal record search (CRS) required?


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


Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Thursdays and Fridays during regular working hours

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

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


Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • access to food within the context of charity vs. solidarity

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the voices of frontline communities in their own words

Through this project, students will develop...

  • Skills for analysing food systems on a case by case basis

Organizational Outcomes

  • It allows us to provide more fine-tuned and critically-informed services

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

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source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/CourseCourse:LFS350/Projects/F2020/KiwassaNeighbourhoodHouse: