The Community Food Centre we envision in Vancouver's West End takes a 3-pronged approach to addressing inequities in our food system, in a way that is rooted in the right to food. We will work with existing emergency food resources in our community to transition to providing people who access them with healthy, fresh food in a dignified environment. We aim to develop community capacity, skills and engagement for producing and preparing food through a comprehensive suite of skill-building and educational programs offered at various locations in our community, and we aim to hire, develop, train and support a group of peer advocates to operate in our community to challenge the systemic issues which create and entrench poverty.
While each of these approaches has the potential to drive change on one scale or another, a community's level of food security is generally understood to embody each of the three prongs working in synergy. By providing individuals with multiple points of access to varying levels and scales of support and advocacy, we create the necessary conditions for a nimble response to the specific issues and concerns of our community.
The West End Community Food Centre will be based on a model in which programs and initiatives are animated in various locations throughout our community (this may change down the road). Starting with programs in satellite sites throughout a community is also the model of growth for most of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Houses.