Vancouver Proclaims March 1, 2018 as “Great Big Crunch for Healthy School Food Day”

We are thrilled to share the City of Vancouver’s proclamation of March 1, 2018 as “Great Big Crunch for Healthy School Food Day” in Vancouver!

Councillor Adriane Carr, on behalf of the Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson, presented the proclamation to the Children and Youth working group and the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

To learn more about the #GreatBigCrunch, visit the Coalition for Healthy School Food, and Food Share.


Whereas the City of Vancouver is dedicated to supporting a just and sustainable food system;

And Whereas the Vancouver Food Policy Council is a member of the national Coalition for Healthy School Food;

And Whereas Canada remains one of the only Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations without a federally supported school meal program which has been called for by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food;

And Whereas a recent UNICEF report ranked Canada 37 of 41 high income countries around the provision of healthy food to children;

And Whereas school food programs are one tool for addressing childhood hunger at school;

And Whereas school food programs and have been proven to increase scholastic success across socio-economic classes and increase children’s consumption of vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods, and decrease the consumption of unhealthy ones;

And Whereas: The Great Big Crunch is a key initiative of the Coalition for Healthy School Food that celebrates healthy food for all children and youth across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved: I, Gregor Robertson, Mayor of the City of Vancouver, and City Council DO HEREBY PROCLAIM that the day of March 1, 2018 as


February 28, 2018 agenda

1 Homelands acknowledgement and introductions 10 min 6:00-6:10
“We acknowledge that we are on the unceded homelands of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and we give thanks for their generosity and hospitality on these lands”
2 Approve minutes from January meeting 5 min 6:10-6:15
3 Leadership Update 10 min 6:15-6:25
4 Liaison Updates 15 min 6:25-6:40
●     City Councillors – Adriane Carr & Heather Deal
●     Parks Board Commissioner – Michael Wiebe
●     Parks Board Staff – Rebecca Till
●     VSB Trustee – Joy Alexander
●     City Staff – Sarah Carten
●     Metro Vancouver – Jaspal Marwah
●     Vancouver Coastal Health – Claire Gram
●     Ministry of Agriculture – Lindsay Bisschop
5 VFPC Updates 25 min 6:40-7:05
●     Reconciliation Training
●     Park Board Local Food Action / Capital Plan
●     All Our Father’s Relations film screening
●     Great Big Crunch
6 Slack Demonstration / Training 15 min 7:05-7:20
  Break 10 min 7:20-7:30
7 Introduction of Food Justice and the Buffer Zone 10 min 7:30-7:40
8 Strategic Planning – 2018 Key Priorities 30 min 7:40-8:10
  ●     Reconciliation / Decolonizing the Vancouver Food System
●     Membership Structure & VFPC post 2018 Election
●     Food on the Election Table
9 Strategic Planning – 2018 Map the Meetings 10 min 8:10-8:20
10 Bread Basket
●     Food Tank Policy Summit draw
●     Endorsement Policy Review
10 min 8:20-8:30
11 Motion to adjourn   8:30

January 31, 2018 agenda

1 Homelands acknowledgement and introductions 10 min 6:00-10
We acknowledge that we are meeting on the unceded homelands of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), swx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and mi ce:p kʷətxʷiləm (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and we give thanks for their generosity and hospitality on these lands.


  • VFPC members and liaisons first
  • Then invite audience
2 Approve minutes from October meeting 5 min 6:10-15
3 Introducing Incoming Liaisons 5 min 6:15-20
4 Liaison Updates 15 min 6:20-35
  • City Councillors – Adriane Carr & Heather Deal
  • Parks Board Commissioner – Michael Wiebe
  • Parks Board Staff – Rebecca Till & Megan Herod
  • Vancouver Coastal Health – Claire Gram
  • Youth Food Policy Council – Crecien Bencio
5 City Staff Liaison Update: Redefining Food Assets (10 mins) 6:35-45
·         Background (Sarah Carten)

Identify interested members for further involvement

6 Children and Youth Working Group Update 15 min 6:45-7:00
  • Working group update
  • Motion on the Big Crunch
7 Reconciliation Training Planning Update 30 min 7:00-7:30
  • Update and decision making regarding All Our Father’s Relations film screening, and two reconciliation training sessions for VFPC members and liaisons
BREAK 10 min 7:30-40
8 Priorities for 2018 and Organizing without Co-Chairs 40 min 7:45-8:25
  • Recap of major outcomes from November/December discussions:
    • Shared leadership model rather than co-chairs in 2018
    • Suggested priorities for 2018: reconciliation, food on the municipal election agenda, VFPC post-election, connecting with other advisory committees, and any working group priorities
    • Proposed new communication method through Slack
  • Discussion
  • Goal of discussion (at minimum): identify leaders for February meeting including coordination and chairing
9 Bread Basket

  • School board liaison
5 min 8:25-30
10 Motion to adjourn 8:30


October Meeting Agenda

1 Homelands acknowledgement and introductions 10 min 6:00-6:10
“We acknowledge that we are on the unceded homelands of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and we give thanks for their generosity and hospitality on these lands”
2 Approve minutes from September meeting 5 min 6:10-6:15
3 Liaison Updates 20 min 6:15-6:35
●     City Councillors – Adriane Carr & Heather Deal
●     Parks Board Commissioner – Michael Wiebe
●     Parks Board Staff – Rebecca Till
●     City Staff – James O’Neill & Sarah Carten
●     Metro Vancouver – Theresa Duynstee
●     Vancouver Coastal Health – Claire Gram
●     Ministry of Agriculture – Emma Holmes
●     Youth Food Policy Council – Crecien Bencio
●     Special Representative – Janet Fraser
4 Working Group Updates 15 min 6:35-6:50
●     Cross-Working Group Leaders Bi-Monthly Meeting
●     Children and Youth
●     Development
●     Food Justice
●     Urban Farming
●     Waste
5 Wild Salmon Caravan Vancouver Feast Report Back 10 min 6:50-7:00
  Break 10 min 7:00-7:10
6 VanPlay: Parks Board Master Planning Process | Katherine Howard and Megan Herod 30 min 7:10-7:40
7 City of Vancouver Single-Use Items Reduction Strategy | Waste Working Group 20 min 7:40-8:00
8 VFPC Truth and Reconciliation training and public engagement funding request 10 min 8:00-8:10
9 2017-2018 VFPC Work Plan Update 10 min 8:10-8:20
10 Bread Basket
●     Co-chair transition
●     Council of Councils Meeting
●     Agenda setting
10 min 8:20-8:30
11 Motion to adjourn   8:30

Wild Salmon Caravan 2017

For thousands of years, the wild salmon have been our most important Indigenous food, and cultural and ecological keystone species in BC. They are an indicator of the health and integrity of the Indigenous land and food system on which the health and functioning of the entire agri-food system is based. They feed the entire Pacific Temperate Rainforest as well as many species including the bears, the wolves, the eagles, and our families and communities.

We invite everyone to come out in colourful and creative expressions of love for wild salmon in parades, banners, posters, music, storytelling, regalia etc.

Wild salmon hear our songs!

Celebrate the spirit of wild salmon!

Transform the darkness surrounding the industrial storm that is killing wild salmon.

Swim with us! Get involved in the #WSC2017.

Agenda for June 21 meeting

Co-Chairs: Kimberley Hodgson and Caitlin Dorward

  1. Homelands acknowledgement and acknowledgement of National Aboriginal Day (6:00-15)
  2. Approval of May 2017 meeting minutes (6:15-20)
  3. Working Group Update: Children & Youth Food WG
    ● Motion on a National School Food Program (6:20-35)
  4. VFPC Priorities for “A Food Policy for Canada” Summit (6:35-7:20)

Background: Caitlin and Kim will be representing the VFPC at a June 22-23 Summit being held by the federal gov’t to gather input on the development of “A Food Policy for Canada”. Specifically, they are consulting on the themes of

  • Increasing access to affordable food;
  • Improving health and food safety;
  • Conserving our soil, water, and air; and,
  • Growing more high-quality food.

The goal of this working session is to articulate the VFPC’s policy priorities related to these themes (and beyond), and priorities related to the implementation/administration of the Food Policy for Canada, for Caitlin and Kim to represent at the summit.
● Overview and explanation of session (5 minutes)
● Small Group Discussion in four thematic breakout groups (40 minutes)
○ Part A: What are our priorities related to the theme? How do these priorities align with the Gov’t’s priorities?
○ Part B: What priorities don’t fit? What’s missing?

Break (7:20-30)

4. (continuation from before break (7:30-8:20)
● Large Group Discussion
○ Part A: small group note takers report back (5 mins each)
○ Part B: discussion (15 mins)
● Recap & Confirm (10 mins)

5. Bread Basket (8:20-30)
6. Motion to Adjourn and move to social gathering 8:30

Reponses to Provincial Election Food Policy Questionnaire

In April the Vancouver Food Policy Council sent out a food policy questionnaire to all Vancouver provincial standing nominees with the following questions:

1.  The BC food system impacts public health, social well-­‐being, community development, land use, education, economic prosperity, natural resources, public safety, and transportation in multiple ways. If elected, how will you advance and coordinate food systems initiatives across various ministries of provincial government?

2.  Food insecurity is directly linked to the unacceptable rates of poverty in BC. If elected, would you commit to implementing a comprehensive poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines within the next term of office? If yes, how would you do so?

3.  One in six BC children lives in a food insecure household. Despite this, BC does not have a universal school food program for public school children. If elected, what would you do to ensure that school aged children have access to healthy meals and food literacy programming in school?

4.  Indigenous food systems continue to be eroded through ongoing colonialism. Indigenous communities are raising concerns regarding the negative impacts of development and extraction projects on their ability to maintain traditional food practices. If elected, what measures would you commit to undertaking to ensure the protection and continuing revitalization of Indigenous food practices in BC?

5.  The Agricultural Land Reserve is a long-­‐standing public legacy that enables a viable agricultural sector and food security for future generations in BC. If elected, what government policies would you support to ensure the long-­‐term protection, viability, and use of the lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve? What additional approaches would you take to foster a viable and sustainable local farming sector in BC?

6.  The Climate Action Plan is B.C.’s roadmap to an emerging green economy for the province that outlines how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. If elected, how would you support adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture and food sector?

7.  Food waste is an economic, social and environmental problem that occurs in all sectors the food system. If elected, how would you advance the reduction of food waste in BC

8.  We know that neonicotinoid pesticides are toxic to bees and other insects that benefit our food system. If elected, would you commit to reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides across the province? If yes, what measures would you take to do so?

9.  If elected, what other food issues or initiatives would you like to advance in the coming term?

You can read the responses we received below:

BC Green Party Response

BC Liberal Party Response

BC NDP_Party Response

April 12th meeting agenda

Agenda for the April 12th meeting:

  1. Homelands acknowledgements
  2. Introductions & Housekeeping
    1. Introductions
    2. Housekeeping
    3. Meeting Supporting Working Group
  3. Approve minutes from March 2017 meeting
  4. Liaison and WG Updates 10 min
    1. City Staff Liaisons
    2. Parks Board
    3. Vancouver Coastal Health – Claire Gram
    4. Waste – Zero Waste 2040
    5. Provincial Questionnaire Update
  5. Parks Board: Food Programming Opportunities
  6. Break
  7. Food Strategy Reheat
  8. Bread Basket
  9. Motion to Adjourn

Joined-Up Food Policy

Local priorities for national policy

Join us for a stimulating presentation from Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, on her top 5 ideas for a National Food Policy, followed by a panel discussion to explore BC priorities for food policy.

With panelists

Brent Mansfield Executive Director, BC Food Systems Network

Dr Tara Moreau CoChair, Vancouver Food Policy Council

Dr Hannah Wittman Academic Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC


Monday, March 27th

7PM – 8.30PM

Committee Room 1, City Hall

453 W 12th Ave, Vancouver




June 22nd VFPC meeting

Wednesday, June 22nd, 6-8:30pm, Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

The regular business of the VFPC will be followed by the following special feature on school food, which starts at 6:55pm. Full meeting agenda here.

School Food Systems in Vancouver and Beyond

The Vancouver Food Policy Council recently joined the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which is seeking a significant investment from the federal government to fund a universal school meal program in Canada. To develop a better understanding of the school food system in Vancouver, the School Food working group of the VFPC will host an evening that brings various perspectives to the issue. Jessica Land from the Vancouver School District will begin by providing an overview of meal supports in schools in the district, and Sarah Carten of the City of Vancouver will describe the funding that the City provided to meals this past year. Following this, a panel of diverse speakers will provide unique outlooks on a series of three questions. Laura Track will speak to children’s legal right through the international Right to Food framework. Brent Mansfield will provide a province-wide perspective on the landscape of school food, and Matthew Kemshaw will provide his views from his experience delivering food programming in Vancouver. An open discussion will conclude the evening.

Speaker Bios

Jessica Land is the Supervisor, Enhanced Services at the Vancouver Board of Education. She has been working in Education and Community Development for over twenty years in a variety of capacities in public and non-profit agencies.  Her current position focuses on ensuring supports and services are in place for those learners who may face barriers (e.g. socio economic challenges) in reaching their educational goals.

Sarah Carten is a Social Planner at the City of Vancouver where she works on the implementation of the Food Strategy. Prior to joining the City’s food policy team last year, she worked for over a decade as a public health dietitian with several health authorities. She worked on programs, plans, policy, and research related to early childhood, school health, and food security.

Laura Track is a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, Canada’s oldest and most active civil liberties and human rights organization. Laura works primarily on legal cases that raise issues under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 2015, she authored a report entitled “Hungry for Justice: Advancing a Right to Food for Children in BC”, which argued for an enforceable right to food under the Charter.

Matthew Kemshaw is currently Farm to School BC’s Vancouver Area Animator, and is also a program manager with the Environmental Youth Alliance and the LifeCycles Project Society. Matthew has worked as an environmental educator for the last decade, with a focus on schoolyard food gardens and school food systems.

Brent Mansfield has broad interests and experience in food systems policy, planning and education and is passionate about working collaboratively across sectors to catalyze change in the food system. He is the Director of the BC Food Systems Network, a provincial network focused on developing more healthy, just and sustainable food systems in urban, rural and remote communities across British Columbia. He is also currently working on a contract as the Project Lead for Food Literacy in Schools with the Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH-BC), supporting school communities across the province to work together to take a whole school approach to food literacy. From 2010-2014 he worked as the Community Liaison and Food Policy Research Lead for the Think&EatGreen@School Project, playing a number of roles around partnerships, professional development and policy development. Previous to working at UBC he was the Garden Program Coordinator the Garden at Grandview/¿uuquinak’uuh Elementary School and a teacher in the Vancouver School Board.