In 2020, the Public Health Association of BC conducted three case studies throughout urban municipalities to explore current urban foodlands practices and policies and align them with community visions and outcomes. A report was created with the intention of aligning efforts across municipalities to help inform the coordinated development of urban foodlands policies and practices across BC.
Three case study municipalities were chosen for this project; the cities of Kamloops, Victoria and Vancouver. These locations were chosen due to strong community engagement in food system policy. Each regional organization involved in this case study had received or was currently working on a Real Estate Foundation Bc -funded project on urban food policy and had good working relationships with the city staff members who hold food system portfolios.
This project was made possible thanks to our community partners at the Kamloops Food Policy Council, Vancouver Urban Farming Society and the Food Eco District. We’d also like to thank the Real Estate Foundation for funding this project.
From February 3rd, 2021 to March 3rd, 2021, the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) conducted a survey on food access programming and organizations. A foundational analysis was done on the results of the survey in an effort to characterize and understand the current landscape of food access programming across British Columbia (BC).
To read the final report and executive summary, including our recommendations to strengthening food access in BC, follow this link: Food Access in British Columbia
This project was made possible through funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction via the Victoria Foundation’s Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund, and a McConnell Foundation grant.
Good soil is the foundation to any healthy garden. In May 2020, the City of Victoria is offered a free leaf mulch and compost distribution pilot program to help home gardens get a healthy start. This new initiative is run by the City’s Growing in the City program in partnership with Public Health Association of BC’s (PHABC) Can You Dig It! program and community garden coordinators across the City. Within 48 hours, this popular new program has been fully booked!
As a part of the Growing in the City progress report in June 2019, City of Victoria Council approved a City-sponsored distribution of excess garden materials for residential garden use. This program, which was approved before the rise of the current pandemic, compliments the City’s new Get Growing, Victoria! initiative, which provides food start seedlings grown in municipal greenhouses to be distributed to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The City has provided 120 cubic yards of leaf mulch and compost to four different community locations that will support over 240 +residential gardens. Residents can collect a maximum of half a yard of garden material, which is the estimated volume of 6-inches of topsoil recommended for a 4x8ft garden.
In order to ensure COVID-19 protocols, residents registered for a scheduled time to collect their garden material at any of the four pick-up zones, located at community centres and community gardens across the City of Victoria.