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The Vancouver non-profit society empowers youth by growing, harvesting, and selling food

August 1st, 2021

Fresh Roots Urban Farm’s Backyard Harvest Dinner With Friends takes place on August 19 at 6 pm PDT.

 

MORE AND MORE people want to know where their food comes from. Vancouver’s Fresh Roots Urban Farm teaches youth all about what’s on their plate—including how to grow it.

Food equity among young people is a pressing issue. Some 2,000 Vancouver youth go hungry daily, according to Fresh Roots, while more than half of Vancouver youth (54 percent) do not eat the recommended daily amount of fruits or vegetables. Poor nutrition among students affects everything from academics to mental health to physical fitness.

The non-profit society’s Sustainable Opportunities Youth Leadership (SOYL) program gets youth involved in every step of the food process, from planting and harvesting to selling it at farmer’s markets. Youth also learn about food justice and cook with local chefs, whether for themselves or people in need in the community.

So much hands-on skills and entrepreneurial experience help build self-confidence and community engagement.

To raise funds for the SOYL program, the organization is hosting its Backyard Harvest Dinner with Friends on August 19 at 6 pm PDT. The online event includes a virtual farm tour, music, and entertainment.

Participants will receive a summer harvest box filled with items from new and culturally diverse local food businesses to have at home. The box includes dishes made by members of the first cohort of Flavours of Hope’s Dream Cuisines, a pilot program supporting newcomer refugee women launching food ventures in partnership with Coho Commissary. These include Super Dishes—Egyptian Halal Cuisine, Mis Cazuelas Mexican Food, and Tinker Bake (Mexican baked goods).

Ono Vancouver and Kula Kitchen helped develop the menu.

Other partners for the 2021 Backyard Harvest Dinner include Legends Haul, Organic Ocean Seafood, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Susgrainable, Odd Society Spirits, Plenty Hard Kombucha, VanSuya, Tsawwassen Farm School, the Italian Cultural Centre, UBC Farm, and VanCity.

Backyard Harvest Dinner tickets, $150, include dinner for two, beverage pairings, flowers for the table, and other items.

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