The West End Neighbourhood Food Network (WENFN) was created in 2011 as a grassroots network to support anything related to food in the West End. We look at the entire food cycle — gardening and growing, cooking, enjoying food, recycling, composting. We also like networking, mutual support, information sharing, events, workshops, and more. Ideas, suggestions, and volunteers are always welcome!
For contact, updates, and more information:
The West End is an urban population of about 45,000 in a compact community on a peninsula, located between a bay, an inlet, a downtown business core, and a large forested park. Most residents live in multi-unit buildings, with more than 80% being renters. We have limited space for growing. But we do have space, and we have lots of ideas. WENFN supports and cooperates with anyone and any group going in the same direction. Many things are already going on.
VISION: The West End is a resilient community, with a sound and sustainable food cycle and food systems, and healthy food accessible for everyone, with the lowest possible burden on the environment.
• Pot Lucks: Share some good food and conversation with neighbours.
• Seed Library: Get free seeds for your garden, swap or donate.
• Workshops: Balcony and container gardening, seed saving, sprouting, fermenting, canning, backyard chickens, native edibles, emergency preparedness, organic gardening, and more.
• 100 in 1 Day: We co-hosted and co-facilitated the West End 100 in 1 Day workshop and information session.
• Food scraps collection and composting/waste reduction: We lead the coordination of volunteers as part of the weekly Food Scraps Drop Spots at Gordon Neighbourhood House and West End Community Centre. We have held seminars and engaged in advocacy to promote a community-based local food cycle.
• Community Outreach: We participate in community events and festivals, disseminating information about WENFN.
• Organizing Events: We help organize events such as the West End Food Festival.
• Local Food Systems: We demonstrate how to create local food cycles.
• Community Food Resilience and Food Justice: We help cultivate community food resilience and food justice in response to issues such climate change, economic inequity, and limited ecological assets.
• Permaculture: We promote permaculture as a sustainable and regenerative food design system.
• INSPIRE 2014 (International Neighbourhood House and Settlement Conference): WENFN Coordinator Ross Moster presented to an international group of participants about the roles communities can play in driving change in our food systems at The Right to Food: from Charity to Justice luncheon hosted by Gordon House.
• Partnerships: We partner with individuals and organizations to fulfill our vision, for example, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Village Vancouver, Recycling Alternatives, the WECC, Vancouver Farmer’s Markets, UBC Community Learning Initiative, and MLA Spencer Herbert Chandra’s office.
• Volunteers: We work with many volunteers to further the goals of the network.
• Neighbourhood Small Grants: We encourage neighbours to apply for food related grants.
• Social media: We maintain a website and tweet.
• Promoting the efforts of others: We help promote other food activities, projects, and programs in the West End.
• Creating connections: We provide connections and advice.
• Networking: We are an active member of the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network Working Group (http://vancouverfoodnetworks.com/)
We have had workshops, seminars, and various other activities in the past, but a current and ongoing project is organics recycling in the West End, since the late spring of 2012. Every Saturday we have been receiving the food scraps from between 1% and 2% of the 45,000 residents of our community. The total take each weekend now is about one tonne of food scraps for composting and to be recycled back into growing, and this also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By July 2014, the program (covering several spots citywide) reached the milestone of over 280,000 pounds of food scraps collected at all Food Scraps Drop Spots and kept out of the waste stream since the program began in 2011. Of this amount, nearly 80% was at two locations in the West End. THANK YOU to all who have supported this effort.
(Village Vancouver): http://www.villagevancouver.ca/group/westendneighbourhoodfoodnetwork