Food Security Checkin

Jewish Family Services new Food Hub, opening April 18th!


A lot has happened since the three-part series on food security back in Season 1 of The Kitchen Stories, so for Season 2, we decided to check back in on the issue.

The new three episode series has been released in the lead-up to Jewish Family Services of Vancouver’s new food hub’s Grand Opening on April 18th. Part 3 in particular focuses on the hub: you can read more about it below, listen to the episode, or head over to the hub’s webpage to register for the event.

Part 1: More Than a Bag of Food

On January 28th, Jewish Family Services (JFS) and Congregation Beth Israel hosted a panel discussion as part of their Tu Bishvat event, More Than a Bag of Food. The five panelists each spoke about food security through a different lens tied to their lived experiences and expertise.

JFS, Beth Israel, and the panelists generously shared the event recording with us, and a condensed version of the discussion makes up Part 1 of the podcast series. Listen to the episode, if you haven’t already, to learn about the lived experience of food insecurity in the Jewish community, JFS’s approach to tackling it, global food systems, and the spiritual dimension of food security.

Part 2: A Human Voice

Looking at food insecurity, and how to address it, from a global systems perspective doesn’t necessarily tell us what it looks like or what to do about it on a day-to-day level. In Part 2 of the series, Mara joins us again, along with another client of the Jewish Food Bank, and they share their stories.

Here’s Mara’s list of actions we can take to help improve food security in our community locally:
  1. Listen to people experiencing food insecurity and poverty. Imagine someone you love going through similar circumstances.
  2. Donate to Jewish Family Services and Tikva Housing Society.
  3. Tell your elected officials you care about poverty and food insecurity.
  4. Ask yourself which of your unique skills and expertise could be of use and find creative ways to get involved.
  5. Find ways of donating leftover catered food to people in need.
  6. Improve access to fresh, local food— especially fruits and vegetables— to JFS clients.
  7. Look to the Hebrew calendar: on top of the above suggestions, certain Jewish holidays offer reminders to help out. For example, at Purim it is a mitzvah to give gifts to the poor.

Hear the full list in Mara’s words, as well as what else she and our other guest had to say in Part 2 here.

Part 3: Welcome to the Food Hub

The last episode in the food security series is all about Jewish Family Services’ new Food Hub! JFS has been hard at work combatting food insecurity for decades, and a big transformation in their efforts is underway. Hear from some of the people who made this exciting space happen as they share what the process has been like from inception back in 2017 to opening day on April 18th.

Throughout the episode, we hear about JFS and Jewish Federation’s joint Food Security Task Force, the concept of food centres/hubs generally, and the vision for JFS’s hub moving forward.

Stay up to date on the food hub and register to attend its Grand Opening at https://jewishfoodhub.ca/, and check out the full episode here to learn more of the story.

Once it’s safe to be there in person, we’ll see you at the Food Hub– which is located at 54 East 3rd Avenue in Vancouver.