Food Security

Improving access to healthy food

Food Security

Food security is a broad concept, encompassing the safety, quality and sustainability of our food supply. It's not just about having enough food to eat. It's about ensuring that all people have equal access to healthy, culturally-appropriate food produced in a sustainable way.

    Supporting food security initiatives

    The Population Health Team provides regional leadership and coordination of food security initiatives in the following areas:

    1. Capacity Building and Advocacy

    We support our community partners in building skills and knowledge to enhance their capacity to do food security work. We also provide funding for food security initiatives through our grants programs including:

    We advocate for food security and keep up to date on the latest food security issues and opportunities through committees such as the Food Security Funders and Policy Group.

    2. VCH policies

    • We play an advisory role on VCH food policies such as those related to vending machine and retail food contracts.
    • We provide regional leadership for the provincial Model Core Program for Food Security.
    • We are leading an initiative to develop a framework to support program managers in their decision making about the food components that are part of services delivered to vulnerable populations.
    • We have worked with our Facilities department to integrate urban agriculture on lands owned by VCH.

      3. Making the link between food insecurity and the impact on health

      We support research and evaluation that provides the evidence base for food security policy and program development.

      Food security reports

      Food Security: A Framework for Action, 2008 – (Summary)
      This framework clarifies the role of VCH in food security while acknowledging our partnership with other sectors
      Terms of Reference: Use of Lower Mainland Health Care Sites for the Purpose of Food Security or Urban Agriculture, 2013
      The purpose of this document is to facilitate urban agriculture on VCH sites. It includes information on site suitability, calls for expressions of interest, the proposal review process and a template for a community garden license agreement.
      VCH Community Food Action Initiative
      Evaluation Report, 2011: This report is an external evaluation on the Community Food Action Initiative, a health promotion initiative that supports community-led solutions to improve food security.