In 2006, the Richmond Food Security Task Force, then a branch of the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, partnered with the Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, Community Food Action Initiative, and ACT Now BC to create the Richmond Food System Assessment report. It is a comprehensive evaluation of the state of Richmond’s food system at the time, identifying key gaps within the food system, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, formulating recommendations in response to these issues, and highlighting available resources. This report is a culmination of participatory research that incorporated surveys of local agencies and organizations, community mapping sessions, literature review, GIS mapping, stakeholder interviews, and an Action Plan development workshop.

The report includes:

  • An environmental scan/food system assessment
  • A series of GIS maps
  • An outcomes measurement framework and action plan
  • A database of contacts interested in receiving more information and in participating in food security initiatives in the future

Key issues addressed include:

  • Loss of agricultural land
  • Lack of cohesion among stakeholders
  • A disconnect between farmers and Richmond residents
  • Food insecurity for vulnerable populations such as at-risk students, the Aboriginal population, refugees, and elderly individuals
  • Lack of culturally appropriate food for some minority groups

Key recommendations include:

  • Consultation, collaboration, and fundraising to implement the action plan
  • Multigenerational food security projects
  • Food programs with a focus on vulnerable populations
  • Information on food and food resources
  • Recruiting low income participants for mentoring roles
  • Monitoring and sustainability plan

Based on the Food System Assessment’s findings, both community and agency members developed a three-year food security action plan over the course of a 2-day workshop. This action plan was then presented to the City Planning Committee, which marked the beginning of a strong partnership with the City of Richmond.