Our 2017 Fall Forum was An Evening of Dialogue and Light Dinner co-hosted by local organizations active and engaged in food matters. It was an evening of food, presentations and an exploration of the meaning of diversity and food on the North Shore and in our region – diversity of ages, diversity of culture, and socio-economic diversity! Local community leaders shared snapshot presentations about their projects and outlined ways that you can get involved or support.
About the Presentations
Cease Wyss – 9 years of Harmony Garden
Favourite food: Wild Sockeye Salmon w/wild berries, seaweed and oolichan grease, w/ wapato & nodding onions sautéed with stinging nettles.
Jane Sherrott – West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre Gardening Group- the beginning of friendships and environmental awareness
Jane is a hobby gardener who has volunteered in a number of community gardens and therapeutic gardens in healthcare settings. She believes, “she who has the most dirt under her fingernails at the end of the day wins.”
Favourite food: not kale
Kevin Huang – If they are not here, where are they?
Kevin is the executive director of hua foundation, an organization with the mission of empowering youth in the Asian diaspora to fully participate in advancing social change through exploring racialized identities and building resilience in communities. His work has ranged from scaling culturally sensitive consumer-based conservation strategies through a project called Shark Truth, to advocating for Vancouver Chinatown’s food security, to building programs for Chinese Canadian youth to reclaim their cultural identity on their own terms. In addition to hua foundation, he sits on various committees and councils, specializing in directing how institutions, organizations, and projects can system shift their design to address racial, economic, and social inequalities in all aspects of their work.
Favourite food: Bowl of homemade Taiwanese Beef Noodle.
Maria Verdicchio – Changing Perceptions: Valuing Diversity
Maria feels lucky to have grown up in a large Italian restaurant, where good food was valued and respected. She’d like to see everyone have access to nutritious food, and help eliminate the stigma that ‘seconds’ have less value. Maria is the Community Engagement and Account Manager with Food Mesh Exchange.
Favourite food: anything nutritious and delicious.
Megan Gray and Shannon Gray – School Gardens Grow Connected School Communities
Megan and Shannon are sisters who both teach at Sentinel Secondary School. Megan teaches Geography and Socials, and Shannon teaches Business and English. Together with students, they established the Sentinel Spirit Garden along with a greenhouse and a garden club four years ago. Both teachers are passionate about vegetable gardening, food literacy, and the experiences that the school garden brings to the community.
Favorite Food Megan: Oranges
Favorite Food Shannon: Blueberries
Samantha Gambling – Farm to School: Bringing Youth to the Table
Samantha is an MSc alumna from UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems, where she studied agricultural policy and food sovereignty in the BC dairy industry. She now works as Community Animator for Farm to School’s Vancouver Area Regional Hub, where she “animates” (ie. catalyzes and supports) a grassroots movement towards healthy, local, sustainable school food systems. She also works as project manager for Small Housing BC, supporting municipalities to develop small, affordable housing projects, and is co-founder and organizer with the BC Tiny House Collective.
Favourite food: Freshly baked bread
Trish Garner – Make Poverty Public
Trish is a tea-swilling Brit with a passion for social justice. As the Community Organizer of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a broad-based network of over 400 organizations throughout BC, she focuses on communications, outreach and community engagement to raise awareness about the root causes of poverty and inequality, and how we can collectively tackle them. She has a Ph.D. in gender, sexuality and women’s studies from SFU and continues to work on LGBTQ issues. Trish lives with her partner and their three young children in East Vancouver.
Favourite Food: Roast chicken. And also new flavours like deep fried cauliflower in pomegranate molasses!
Zsuzsi Fodor – Lessons Learned, From a White Lady
Zsuzi is the Community Partnership Manager at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Zsuzsi has been involved in community food security work for the last decade. Prior to joining the GVFB, she was a food systems consultant with the nonprofit and public sectors. She also previously managed the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, Vancouver Urban Farming Society, and worked as a community developer at the Kits Neighbourhood House. Zsuzsi also co-chaired the Vancouver Food Policy Council and is currently its longest served member. She has a Masters of Planning from the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning where she has also co-taught a food systems course.
Favourite Food: Salmon