Vancouver Coastal Health’s Food Asset Map is a tool to find places where people grow, prepare, share, buy, receive and learn about food.
And now, it’s inspiring others, like Devon Green, a Vancouver man in his mid-20s who knows what it’s like to be hungry.
“I was living on the streets of Vancouver with no food, no money and no clue how to access resources,” said Green.
Motivated by his experience, and inspired by the Vancouver Food Asset Map, Devon is now trying to help at risk youth who might otherwise go hungry.
The Vancouver Food Asset Map was developed by VCH public health dietitians in partnership with UBC Land and Food systems students and instructors, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, the City of Vancouver, and Fresh Roots.
The map contains hundreds of locations where people can access food—from community gardens and kitchens to convenience stores –and includes locations of free and subsidized grocery items and free/low cost meals.
Specialty food stores, supermarkets and seasonal markets are also included.
“When people are working 12 hours a day, six days a week and taking transit and perhaps don’t have full cooking facilities, they need to know where they can get a litre of milk and a loaf of bread,” said Kathy Romses, Public Health Dietitian, VCH.
“At school, if kids aren’t eating, they aren’t learning,” said Marc Schutzbank, Executive Director of Fresh Roots. “Food is a way for us to engage youth so they can build supportive peer networks and trusting relationships with adults to develop the skills they need to succeed.”