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Soul food: at YWCA Crabtree Corner every program begins with a meal

Few things bring people together like a meal.

Eating around a table, sharing stories and connecting with others has been a fundamental part of building strong communities for generations. Everyone needs nutritious food to achieve good health, productivity and a sense of well-being.

But what happens when healthy food is out of reach?

For many of the people we serve at YWCA Crabtree Corner, accessing food comes at the cost of sacrificing other basic needs like clothing or shelter.

“Food security is a daily challenge for our families because they don’t have enough money to buy food,” explains Brenda Lavallee, Manager of Crabtree Corner Community Programs. “They rely on our programs to supplement their food budgets and provide for their families.”

The health and social costs of food insecurity

Despite being one of the wealthiest provinces in Canada, one in five BC children are still living in poverty and more than half of them are children of single mothers. For low-income families, food security - the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food - is often unattainable. Evidence suggests children living with food insecurity have poorer school performance and experience added challenges as adults, including a higher prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and psychological and social development issues.

YWCA Crabtree Corner food programs

Crabtree Corner’s community kitchen provides breakfast for families using our programs and hot lunches on a drop-in basis for women and children in the community. Food is made from scratch using seasonal produce from the YWCA’s Rooftop Garden and through generous donations from the community.

“The food programs help our clients in so many ways,” says Brenda. “For single women it may be the only food they get that day. Women parenting on their own don’t have the financial means to feed their families all three meals plus snacks.

Families use the food programs at Crabtree to stretch their income in order to finance other activities for their children, like sporting events or school outings.”

Food, Facts and Fun!

Many of us can relate to the challenge of staying up to date on nutrition and healthy eating. For moms at Crabtree Corner, this is especially difficult. To address these challenges we offer the Food, Facts and Fun! program, an interactive 10-week program that teaches healthy eating habits, how to cook on a budget and what makes a healthy meal.

Each session begins with a meal. And the best part? Parents get the ingredients and recipe to take home and cook with their families!

All YWCA Crabtree Corner programs include a meal because we recognize the challenges faced by families when it comes to accessing healthy, nutritious food.

Want to help promote food security in Metro Vancouver's poorest neighbourhoods? For just $10 a month, you can help provide nutritious food for families in need. 

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