HEALTHY COMMUNITIES and SOCIAL INNOVATION

Healthy Communities are at the forefront of BC Health Policy and is growing across the country. Identifying and creating the linkages and opportunities between healthy communities and regional food and agriculture systems builds collaboration and implementation capacity. 

UFS works to identify these linkages and opportunities and provides services to:

Recently, Urban Food Strategies along with other leading experts, helped to the develop  The Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit , a groundbreaking evidence-based and expert-informed resource that links planning principles to health outcomes.  The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) released the Toolkit in April 2014.

Project Profiles

Social Innovation in Food Banks, Environmental Scan (2016) |
Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Vancouver BC

Food banks are starting to realize that emergency food distribution is not a stand-alone solution for hunger and food insecurity.  They are developing innovative strategies to increase health and wellness of members and shifting the approach that food banks have historically used.  Currently, there is a gap of information and knowledge around what is happening around social innovation in food banks.  Urban Food Strategies conducted literature and interview-based research into identifying themes and trends in the application of socially innovative practices in North American Food Banks.  As part of this project UFS developed a working definition of social innovation in food banks, conducted a literature scan of innovation in food banks, interviewed over 20 managers from food banks, and produced a final report that was disseminated broadly.  A key finding was that many food banks are engaging in socially innovative activities even though they may not self-identify this way and are not recognized externally for this work.

Organizational Change Manager and Capacity Builder (2014-2015) | Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Vancouver BC

Urban Food Strategies provided embedded consulting services to help support the GVFB in shifting towards its new vision and mission. Specifically we:

Mobile Market Feasibility Study (2014) | Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Vancouver BC

UFS, in association with Sustainability Ventures, led the development of a feasibility assessment and business plan for a mobile food market in Greater Vancouver.  As an emerging innovation in increasing access to fresh foods for low-income groups, the study examined the policy and regulatory feasibility, identified location options and provided a break-even financial model for the project.   The report was used to develop the next stage of the mobile market and led to the creation and execution of a launch plan for the trial phase. Urban Food Strategies also established and evaluation matrix and provided an assessment of the first year of the project and made recommendations for how to improve the program.

You Are Where You Eat, Community Forum on Linking Regional Food and Agriculture Systems with Healthy Communities (2014) | District of Central Saanich, Sidney BC

Urban Food Strategies prepared for and facilitated a full day of discussion to identify collaboration opportunities for local governemnts to build healthy communities.  With over 80 participants including elected officials, municipal staff, farmers, community organizers and First Nations.  The outcomes of the forum will be used to identify collaborative action.

Putting Food on the Table- Graphic Inspiration (2014) | BC
Housing, Vancouver Island Region

UFS, in association with Joanna Clark, Designs led the creation of a food system graphic that highlights the current food system assets in BC Housing directly managed housing sites as well as where the organization could go in creating healthy communities.  By graphically depicting the “now” and the “wow” for integrating food systems in directly managed housing, staff have a valuable tool to engage the organization in a discussion.

 Mobile Market Feasibility Study (2014) | Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Vancouver BC

UFS, in association with Sustainability Ventures, led the development of a feasibility assessment and business plan for a mobile food market in Greater Vancovuer.  As an emerging innovation in increasing access to fresh foods for low-income groups, the study examined the policy and regulatory feasibility,  identified location options and provided a break-even financial model for the project.   The report was used to develop the next stage of the mobile market and led to the creation and execution of a launch plan for the trial phase.

 

Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit (2013- Volunteer) | Provincial Health Services Authority

The Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit is a groundbreaking evidence-based and expert-informed resource that links planning principles to health outcomes. Urban Food Strategies, among other leading provincial experts on the healthy built environment (HBE), contributed to its development.  The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) released the Toolkit in April 2014.

 Lantzville Urban Agriculture Jam (2013) | District of Lantzville, Lantzville BC

Team members of UFS led the design and provided the facilitation for a half-day community workshop intended to review progress to date in developing and urban farming bylaw, identify any outstanding issues, and get community input on the key priorities for the bylaw.  The City is currently developing and urban farming bylaw to allow and regulate growing more food in the District.

The Edible Garden Project (2006) | Edible Garden Project Society, North Vancouver, British Columbia

We initiated the project, setting up essential systems such as a website and key relationships in the community.  We also, coordinated students and volunteers in cultivating unused spaces such as backyards, setbacks, and boulevards with edible plants.

Vancouver Fruit Tree Project (2005) | Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Society, Vancouver BC

We coordinated volunteers to pick unused tree fruit to distribute to social service providers and provided community education on food security.

 

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