The Intercultural Food Security Study was a collaborative research project completed in 2016 which explored community perspectives on how to address food security and health equity among multicultural communities in Richmond. The results will inform future community based research as well as food security and health equity programming.
Richmond Food Security Society and Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC conducted focus group discussions with members of organizations representing Richmond’s multicultural communities (Richmond Multicultural Community Services, United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society, India Cultural Centre, Richmond Bethel Church, Richmond Food Bank, and Vancouver Coastal Health Population and Community Health). Community perceptions and ideas about access, availability and utilization of culturally desired foods, and programming related to health and nutrition was gathered from participants self-identifying as Chinese, Filipino, Punjabi, Iranian, Korean, Taiwanese, Sikh, Russian, Japanese, Haida Gwaii, Musqueam, Sri Lankan, Mexican, Honduran, and French.
Key results and recommendations are below and available as a printable public summary.
Full report is available here.
Food Availability and Access
100% of respondents said that affordability influences food choices
24% indicated that organic foods are too expensive
22% indicated that meat is too expensive
Social and Cultural Concerns
100% of respondents indicated a desire for cultural foods
28% do not know how to cook with unfamiliar foods
22% indicated that availability of cultural foods is limited
Knowledge of Food Programs and Services
48% of respondents were aware of the food bank
46% were aware of community meal services
26% were aware of community gardens
24% of respondents believe that growing food contributes to household food security
15% indicated the desire to access land to grow food
Future research questions
• How can community organizations and local governments collectively develop intercultural food security strategies grounded in principles of fairness and community-building?
• What are the barriers preventing the improvement of knowledge, use, and consumption of new foods?
• How can we improve access to land for local and cultural food production for individual/community use?
Recommended community programs and policies
• Develop a Richmond Food Strategy that fully represents the cultural diversity of Richmond residents and includes principles of fairness and community building.
• Enhance the distribution of resources for food literacy.
• Create and improve access to land for cultural community groups and new immigrants.