20. YWCA: Afterschool Youth Program – Healthy Food Workshop & Program Snack Review


Project Title

Afterschool Youth Program - Healthy Food Workshop & Program Snack Review

Organization Name

YWCA Metro Vancouver


Related Course Concepts

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

Organization Information

Organization Name

YWCA Metro Vancouver

Mission and Vision of Organization

Since its inception in 1897, YWCA Metro Vancouver has worked tirelessly to achieve women's equality. Today, we are one of Metro Vancouver's largest and most diversified non-profit organizations. Our holistic, integrated programs and services help lift women and families out of poverty, provide the best start for children and create new opportunities for education, employment and leadership.


Our vision is to achieve women’s equality.


Our mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Guiding Principles + Values

YWCA Diversity & Inclusion Policy

YWCA Metro Vancouver is committed to advocating for social change to promote the full realization of women’s equality.

Our work aims to address the systemic causes of poverty and social inequality and the specific challenges faced by single mothers.

We subscribe to the principles of the Human Rights Code of British Columbia and as such will not tolerate unjust, unfair or unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, political belief, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, gender, sex, sexual orientation or age.

We work towards creating an organization that reflects the community in which we operate and recognize the vital importance of taking into account the varying needs of our stakeholders. This includes recognizing and respecting the:

  • Diversity of individuals, ideas and opinions
  • Value of differences and unique abilities
  • Equality of opportunity, accessibility and inclusion
  • Right to reasonable accommodation
  • Right of individuals to self-identify their gender
  • Financial status of all, regardless of their ability to pay
  • Need to foster a community where members feel safe, welcomed, and respected and where no one is subject to any form of oppression and discrimination.

For more information, please see https://ywcavan.org/policies

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

Project Description

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

YWCA is committed to giving children and youth across Metro Vancouver the tools they need to make smart choices and grow up healthy, happy and engaged in their communities. Our after-school programs support Grade 7 students in their transition to High School. We run a once per week, nine week program at several sites across BC's Lower Mainland. The Spring Sessions run from mid-February to late April; Fall Sessions run from October to December. The nine sessions are consistent across all sites, and we offer healthy snacks as part of every session. One of the nine sessions is specifically focused on healthy eating.

The programs are volunteer-led, and university students who are on the front-line in our programs gain facilitation and leadership training, conflict resolution skills, and the broadening of their personal and professional networks. Our programs aim to make a difference in the lives of young people, supporting their development of the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence they need to make a smooth transition to high school. The program connects youth with positive role models, and inspires them to play a leading role in their personal development and the development of their communities.

Main Project Activities

We are seeking input to improve our program curriculum and planning for healthy snacks served in our programs, to ensure sustainability and nutritional quality of all food served in our programs. The student team will work with YWCA staff, program facilitators and mentors/volunteers to:

  • Update the healthy eating session curriculum
  • Analyze the existing healthy snack menu for cost and nutritional quality
  • Propose potential substitutions for snack program menu (e.g. cultural diversity considerations, cost, nutritional quality, prep time/logistics)

YWCA stresses consistent, week-to-week adult/mentor presence for the full nine week program. To avoid disruption to the program, LFS350 students will work with the mentors and facilitators instead of directly with the youth. Many program facilitators and volunteers are past participants who have remained involved for many years, and will be able to provide rich insight and perspective into the program.

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

  • Updated healthy eating session curriculum, including: facilitator guide, shopping list (including projected budget), equipment list
  • Train-the-trainer session with program volunteers (a good opportunity to make adjustments based on volunteer feedback) - if time permits
  • Analysis of the existing healthy snack menu for cost and nutritional quality
  • List of proposed/potential substitutions for snack program menu (e.g. cultural diversity considerations, cost, nutritional quality, prep time/logistics)

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Interest and enthusiasm for working with youth
  • Interest and knowledge in nutrition
  • Interest and knowledge in designing food literacy workshops
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

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

  • Understanding of youth programming context
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Curriculum design
  • Communication skills

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

  • Volunteer appreciation event in late April (date TBD, not mandatory but it would be great if students can attend!)

Is a criminal record check required?

  • No

Project Location

  • 535 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC (in-person meetings)
  • Student group work location is flexible

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Flexible

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

  • YWCA is always looking for mentors and volunteers. Our after school programs are especially looking for positive male role models. Please ask about opportunities!

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:

  • In-person volunteer orientation

General Resources

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • the challenges and opportunities of youth program planning
  • food insecurity for children and youth in BC's Lower Mainland

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the dedication and passion of our mentors in supporting youth leadership development

Through this project, students will develop...

  • a greater awareness of the food security challenges facing youth across the Lower Mainland, including everyday constraints in accessing healthy foods of their choosing

Organizational Outcomes

Intended Project Outcome (Short Term Outcome)

  • YWCA has an improved ability to offer a variety of healthy snacks to all youth participants, including those with dietary considerations
  • An updated Healthy Food session will result in strengthened food literacy for youth participants

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

  • This project contributes to greater economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities by strengthening our after-school curriculum.
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2020/YWCA