New CANAVUA community food truck enables access to nutritious food where it is needed most
Food security means having reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food. Canadian Volunteers United in Action (CANAVUA) and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC) recently conducted local surveys regarding food security among Edmonton’s most marginalized communities. Their focus included people isolated in their homes due to age and disability, youth, and people living in homelessness. Their research unveiled some unfortunate stats about those surveyed:
- 24.8% were unable to access sufficient food to meet they and their family’s needs;
- 34.4% were unable to access the healthy/culturally appropriate food they and their family needed;
- 60.8% had not tried to access food services or supports through an agency;
- 66.4% said their experiences accessing sufficient and healthy/culturally appropriate food during the pandemic had changed.
Dicky Dikamba, Executive Director of CANAVUA, knew that he could change these stats for the better. He came up with the innovative solution to provide food security to underprivileged groups across Edmonton with the CANAVUA Community Food Truck Project. This food truck will travel around the city to provide affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food to those who struggle to access it on their own.
Although the idea was only conceived this past March, CANAVUA was able to launch the project only months later at an event on October 7. Building the trailer itself posed a big challenge; one that was met by Chris Pierno, owner of Calgary-based Brothers Fabrication. Dikamba publicly thanked Pierno at the event for his swift action and dedication. Also in attendance were Renee Vaugeois of the JHC and Alberta’s Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Aheer.
“We are going to help all people in need here in Edmonton,” Dikamba said in an interview at the launch event. “Single parents, the homeless, new Canadians, anyone in bad situations – we will provide them with nutritious and culturally appropriate food. With our research we found out that there is a need there.”
Dikamba has ambitions for the food truck to serve 3,000 meals to our community each month. Registrations for the project’s first community-serving event on October 15 quickly rose to over 300. With the quality – and quantity – of the food CANAVUA is serving, they are sure to leave plenty of full bellies and happy faces wherever the food truck goes.