As we mark the dubious 1 year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown we can’t help but celebrate the accomplishments made possible through our residency at the Norquay Field House. With the support of the Vancouver Parks Board and the Field House Project, we have supported food literacy and food access for kids, youth, and the community at Norquay and across Vancouver. In 2019 we served 17,928 nutritious meals and engaged with 6,354 kids and youth through 34,616 program hours. In 2020 we served 73,653 nutritious meals and supported 2,650 kids and youth through 20,055 program hours.
Some of the highlights from this past year are:
- Norquay Park Food Sharing Garden – We tend a sharing garden where we engage with community members throughout the growing season. We speak to people about plants, share stories and invite them to harvest vegetables on their own!
- Apple Cider Press Day – In 2020 we held this modified annual event with volunteers from the Bosa Foundation preparing and pressing 700 pounds of apples into 35 gallons of juice. We showed many community members how cider pressing works and gave out ginger gold apples generously donated by BC Tree Fruits to take home!
- SOYL Program – We host over 35 high school youth each year who learn how to grow, cook, and share food. Youth are referred to the program through social service providers and counselors and, through the program, build lifelong skills in confidence, friendship, and leadership. Learn more about SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) here.
- Schoolyard Harvest Dinner *At Home Edition* – Fresh Roots annual fundraising dinner virtually broadcasted live from Norquay Field House. We hosted 190 virtual participants online with 35 staff and a cooking demo safely hosted by chefs in-person.
- And last but not least! Right before lockdown before we knew we wouldn’t be back in the field house for a while, Alexa Fresh Roots Executive Director, then Interim Executive Director got a chance to prepare Fresh Roots’ famous salad dressing for the first time! We hope to be back in the field house preparing and eating food, laughing, learning and enjoying time spent together with our community.