21. Richmond Food Security Society – Generate community support for food security through an updated membership program


Project Title

Generating Community Support for Food Security Through an Updated Membership Program

Organization Name

Richmond Food Security Society


Food security, community-building, membership, food systems

Related Course Concepts

Food security, Asset based community development, Social class/income inequality

Organization Information

Organization Name

Richmond Food Security Society

Mission and Vision of Organization

Inspiring a robust Richmond food system through education, advocacy and community-building initiatives. Healthy people, community and environment.

Guiding Principles + Values

We live the values as identified in the Richmond Food Charter Courageous Community Leadership: We engage our community to address challenges Healthy Ambition: We grow community wellness and have fun doing it Sustainable Change: We inspire long-term, tangible, systemic results

Contact Information

Preferred Method of Contact

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

Preferred Platform(s) for Remote Collaboration

  • Email, Google Meet, Phone, Zoom, WhatsApp

Project Description

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

Richmond Food Security Society (RFSS) was initially established in 2002 by the Richmond Poverty Response Committee as the Food Security Task Force, which grew to become an independent society in 2009. Over the years, several key documents have informed our work: - Richmond Food System Assessment Report, which explored options to develop a food policy for Richmond. A food action plan based on this report was presented to the City Planning Committee in 2006. - Foodland Asset Report, which identified lands available for food production in Richmond in 2012. the Richmond Food Charter, which outlined the Richmond community’s collective values and right to adequate food. It was unanimously endorsed by the Richmond City Council in 2016. - Richmond Food Charter, adopted by City Hall in 2016 Within the community, our programs have sprouted passionate youth leaders, budding young cooks from low-asset backgrounds, happy gardeners, local seeds, and surplus fruit for those in need. Previously, we created a Local Eating Guide, a map that shows where to buy Richmond-grown produce and meats. Over the years, we have had different initiatives but our goal is engaging a resilient local food system through education, advocacy, and community building initiatives. Since 2010, we have been hosting Seedy Saturday, an annual celebration dedicated to nurturing the tradition of growing from local seeds. We have also held a variety of organic gardening, cooking, and canning workshops in our efforts to increase food literacy. Despite these efforts, we would still like our work to be more widely known and supported by Richmond residents. Students who work on this project have the option of narrowing their target demographic based on interests and skill sets, for example, Mandarin speaking communities or high school youth.As a non-profit with limited staff time for marketing and outreach to the general Richmond public, we would like to look for assistance in this area community engagement and outreach, especially given this Covid-19 Pandemic time. We want to increase the number of annual RFSS memberships as a way to generate public support for our work and increase our reach in Richmond. Currently, most of our members are automatically added when residents rent a community garden plot This project will have the opportunity to create a comprehensive Membership Program and solicit support from Richmond businesses for membership perks and create a membership drive in the Fall/Winter. We had an organizational goal to increase our Richmond-based members to fulfill our vision of a more connected and resilient Richmond food system.

See more about the current Membership Program https://www.richmondfoodsecurity.org/become-a-member/

See examples from Farm Folk City Folk https://www.farmfolkcityfolk.ca/get-involved/membership/

Member Benefits example from Van Dusen Botanical Garden Association https://vandusengarden.org/get-involved/membership/member-benefits/

Main Project Activities

Solicit Richmond specific perks for RFSS members from local businesses or organizations. Marketing plan for launching Membership Drive. Possibility to begin preliminary membership drive and promotion

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

  • Craft new membership program language and promotion.
  • Promotion posters both physical and for online use.
  • Increase RFSS membership by 25%.

Intended Project Outcome

Promotion of RFSS in Richmond and connect residents who are interested in this issue.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Interest in community mobilizing, business or social marketing, comparative research and analysis

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

  • Social marketing to generate community interest and support around an issue.

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

  • None

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


Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Richmond Community Garden Ambassadors - connect with the public at a number of our community gardens in Richmond, and assist with any maintenance projects Kids in the Garden Volunteers - with approved criminal record check, assist with Kids in the Garden Teaching Sessions in Elementary School Classrooms and working on school gardens so that they are ready for winter/spring Fruit gleaning during the summer to fall months from residents’ homes Seed saving and seed library volunteers

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...

  • Community engagement and mobilization

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • how crowd funding can generate important income for a non-profit

Through this project, students will develop...

  • skills in building a community network and communication about food security to general public

Organizational Outcomes

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

We want to increase the number of RFSS memberships as a way to garner support for our work from diverse funding streams as a form or organizational sustainability. This program will also contribute to our mission of a more connected and resilient Richmond food system.

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source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/F2020/RichmondFoodSecuritySociety2