Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society

Downtown Eastside Community Kitchens Project {DECK}

The Downtown Eastside Community Kitchen Project {DECK} was established in 2000 and is a program that focuses on providing residents of single room occupancy {SRO} hotels an alternate method of obtaining food in a self-directed and dignified manner. Many SRO residents do not have access to any cooking facilities or the skills to cook and cannot provide a meal for themselves. That’s where DECK comes in.

DECK helps people form groups where they can learn the necessary skills to cook nutritious meals together in this special corner of the city. DECK also assists community kitchen groups in finding appropriate cooking space, as well as needed equipment and helps train group leaders. Residents gain the confidence and community connections that help them feed themselves and they become less isolated by working together and sharing meals.
 
DECK focuses on the residents of the Downtown Eastside and looks to community kitchens as a social outlet as well as a skill-building arena. DECK also partners with other agencies in the Downtown Eastside to create community kitchens around specific health and social issues such as Hepatitis C and addictions. The support of agency partners and volunteers is vital to the project’s success.

In November 2009, DECK was one of 12 organizations awarded with the Innovative Community Capacity Building Award from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Community Capacity Building Strategy, an initiative of the BC Healthy Living Alliance. This award recognizes local development/redevelopment projects or programs, and the individuals behind them, that inspire communities to take action to identify and meet their own needs. The award also honours individuals and their affiliated organizations who continually contribute to the foundation of their community.


DECK Partnered Kitchens

DECK also partners with the organizations listed below to support their community kitchens. For more information on these kitchens please contact the organizer:

ADAPT - Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness, Prevention and Training
  • Organizer: Emma Sutherland, Red Fox Feasting, phone: 604-319-2571
  • Traditional Medicine at Oppenheimer Park
  • Elder's Group
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

Phone: 604-215-2030

St. James Church - Latin American Group

Organizer: Ingrid Mendez de Cruz, phone: 604-254-6995

Vancouver Native Health Youth Clinic

Organizer: Micheline Low, phone: 604-254-6995

Watari Research Association (Latin American Group)

Organizer: Ingrid Mendez de Cruz, phone: 604-254-6995

Listen to the CBC Early Edition broadcast about the Watari Community Kitchen.

For further information about DECK, please contact Leo Ramirez, Program Coordinator at 604.216.2328 or leor@foodbank.bc.ca .