Vancouver Foundation

Fall 2013

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Food desert facts • 29% of female seniors in Vancouver live below the poverty line. • 44% of all Vancouver seniors who rent cannot afford adequate and safe housing. • Several west side neighbourhoods do not have a single grocery store. • Walking is challenging for many seniors and transportation is expensive. st side (Opposite page) South Granville locals line up to purchase fresh, affordable produce at the Westside Mobile Food Market; Maureen and Sheila head to the mobile market to load up on bananas, plums, peaches and zucchinis. (left) Annie Lambla, market co-ordinator, gets an early start on setting up for a busy day of sales with the help of local volunteers (right). Through the Greenest City Fund – a partnership between Vancouver Foundation and the City of Vancouver – the Westside Mobile Food Market received $12,000 in program support, and was able to leverage other, in-kind community support. "With this support, Vancouver Foundation has allowed us to put food directly into a community that really needs it," says Fodor. The Westside Mobile Food Market aims to accommodate the needs of local seniors each week. This week, the market has a bounty of produce, from BC cherries and orchard peaches, to local garlic, fresh corn, new potatoes, green beans and more. Even before the market opened, more than a dozen local seniors were lined up. Annie Lambla, Westside Mobile Food Market co-ordinator, manages the weekly operations of the market and hears firsthand what the locals think. "Everybody loves it," she shares in between serving customers. But it can be a guessing game to know how much produce to bring. "We collect feedback on selection and price each week." As another customer buys corn, apples and plums, Lambla says, "The volunteers are a highlight for me. They're great to work with and it's good because they are residents of the neighbourhood too." The market's organizers and volunteers have all seen the p26-27 Westside Food Market.indd 27 community come together around the market, and believe the market does more than sell vegetables. "It has the potential to help address isolation and loneliness in the community," says Fodor. "The market is an outing for folks – they talk to the staff and other customers, and learn about other community events. These are unintentional positive benefits of the market . . . It's about food, but it's also about people." Raymonde Jabaji, a market volunteer and west side senior, agrees. "Some people who don't know about the seniors centre are now coming in," Jabaji says. "The market is helping bring people together." The Westside Mobile Food Market is part of a campaign to support sustainable solutions that end food deserts in Vancouver's west side and give seniors easy, dignified access to affordable, healthy food. Learn more about the campaign at VF To learn more about Greenest City Community Grants, or to support projects like the Westside Mobile Food Market, contact Peter in Development and Donor Services at 604.629.5357. Or visit Fall 2013 I Vancouver Foundation l page 27 13-10-11 1:38 PM

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