Thursday, November 3, 2011

Talk Food to Us: Seeking Community Food Animators

A warm hello from the Vancouver Food Policy Team!

Over the last few months, the City of Vancouver Food Policy team has been working on the beginnings of the Vancouver Food Strategy, the City's first official food plan. A backgrounder about the Food Strategy and Food Policy in the City of Vancouver is attached for your reading pleasure.

Some of you might have already been asked to share favourite memories, moments, and stories of food in Vancouver which we you will see starting to appear on our blog: Thank you for those, they were amazing to read and we look forward to sharing them with others. If you have not yet had a chance to share your food experiences of the city yet you can submit them through the blog at

We are in the first part of public engagement for the Food Strategy and keeping in tune with our mantra "Talk Food With Us" we have been going to various events around town talking about food with Vancouverites: where they get it from, if they grow it, how they prepare it, dispose of it, etc. as well as identifying where great food destinations are in their neighbourhoods or "food assets" and what is missing from their neighbourhood food system "food gaps", and on...Check out our blog to read about some of the events we've already been to.

But we can't talk food with Vancouver alone and know that conversations and stories about food are everywhere, everyday. That's why we're looking for Volunteer Community Food Animators who will bring food conversations alive throughout the city and help inform the food strategy.

The goals of Community Food Animation however go beyond informing policy, and being an animator doesn't require you to be a policy person at all. The only requirements are that you have passion, interest, and as much extra time as you're willing to commit. The brochure detailing the Community Food Animation program is attached with more details.

Do you think you might want to volunteer to be a City of Vancouver Community Food Animator?

We would love to hear from you if you think you might! There will be periodic orientation sessions and an animation toolkit available with activities and tips for engagement to get you up and animating.

If you are interested...

1) We would also love to find out whether you speak other languages and if you have ideas already about who you might like to engage with as a Community Food Animator (e.g. my neighbours, other gardeners at my community garden, a seniors' centre close to where I work, my co-workers) and in what part(s) of the city.

2) Are you interested in having an orientation? We expect that some people might feel confident to go ahead and animate once you have the toolkit and others might want an orientation with some pointers on community engagement. Our first orientation session will be on November 23rd, from 5-6pm at the Woodwards Building. Please let us know if you would like to attend, or if that date doesn't work but you would like an orientation session and we'll try our best to accommodate you.

3) Know other folks who would be great Community Food Animators? Great! This is the beginning of the initiative so we would love to get connected with them as well. Feel encouraged to pass along this message to your networks!
Just send us an email and you'll hear back from us soon with next steps. We would like to have some Community Food Animation underway as soon as possible. Get in touch to get animating! We've even got prizes up our sleeves…


-Optional Orientation: November
-Community Food Animation Happening: November-December (and possibly longer)
-Check-In Week (when we would love to hear from you on how it's going): mid-November
-First Animations Complete and Feedback from Animators: early-December

Questions, other thoughts, and follow up to the next steps can be sent to the Food Policy team at or 604-873-7764.

You can also check out:


The City of Vancouver Food Policy Team
Chashma Heinze, Erin Bett, James O'Neill, Terra Kaethler, Wendy Mendes & Zsuzsi Fodor

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