Foster youths face a multitude of challenges after aging out of government care, from housing to education and employment. However, one of the most immediate and pressing obstacles youth face after losing support, is where they’re going to find their next meal. Due to a lack of support, we know that over half of BC foster youth will become dependent on income assistance (MCFD, 2015). This means that for the majority of foster youth, their weekly food allowance is approximately $18 after factoring in living expenses (Raise the Rates, 2015). As a result, many foster youths need to find alternative sources of free food or confront days of hunger.
The good news is that there are many organizations, like Aunt Leah's Place, that offer free food and community supports in Metro Vancouver. Using youth experience and knowledge of these organizations, the Foster Youth Food Guide will create an online food resource that helps young people locate organizations that are transit accessible, safe and promote food security. The guide will be built using Google Maps’ API and include clear directions, detailed descriptions, and pictures or videos of each space. To gather this data, youth researchers will travel and review each location.
We believe this project falls directly within Fostering Change’s small grants funding approach, as it is a youth-led project that fills a gap with actionable knowledge and builds relationships between foster youth and their communities in Metro Vancouver.