A research team led by LFS Assistant Professor Jennifer Black was recently awarded $200,000 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to evaluate the impact of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society’s Food Hub Programs on dietary intake and food security.
Black, along with UBC researchers Nathan Lauster and Gail Hammond, and Simon Fraser University researchers Scott Lear, Nadine Schuurman and Charles Goldsmith, will work with the GVFBS as they transform their delivery model.
The GVFBS provides assistance to over 28,000 people weekly through 15 food depots and over 100 community agencies in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and North Vancouver. The non-profit is developing a food philosophy that will set nutritional standards for food banks. Through its ‘food hub’ program, members can select from a healthier array of food offerings, as well as engage with agencies that provide health promotion, nutrition education, and social service referrals. They will also be able to purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at subsidized prices.
The evaluation of this program will inform the transformation of the food bank system in Vancouver. In the long-term, findings will provide valuable insight about how food banks across Canada could better meet health equity and community food security goals.