The annual GBQ is one of the many ways that Gordon Neighbourhood House is working to address the growing issue of social isolation in the City of Vancouver. The GBQ is a free annual community BBQ where 100 neighbours are invited to share a free meal set on a 30m long table.
Between increasingly busy schedules the flood of food delivery services and people’s growing tendency to retreat into private space, more and more people are choosing to eat alone at home more often. We know the multiple benefits of food in parks, and Gordon Neighbourhood House’s shared meal created tantalizing opportunities for human connection.
Operating in Vancouver’s West End since 1942, Gordon Neighbourhood House knows that food helps neighbours get to know each other and build social capital.
In fact, their mission states that their programs all strive to meet, “the needs and dreams of the community.” They have a Food Philosophy and several food initiatives that nourish their community.
This joyous event was supported by a TD Park People Grant and featured local musicians such as Madelyn Read and Jan Bartolome, who filled the air with folk and R&B tunes. Community members, including employees from the local TD branch, volunteered to food to the neighbours who gathered together.
Dinner also featured a special appearance by the bike-powered Gordon Greens produce market and locally grown herbs from the Gordon House Community Herb Gardens which can be found sprinkled through the West End (map).
These herb gardens provide a free, openly accessible place for West Enders to harvest and enjoy fresh herbs. The produce market brings local, nutritious, and affordable produce to the West End community over the summer months.
After dinner, neighbours were invited to stick around and continue building bonds over rounds of street hockey and board games.
“The ambiance of people laughing and talking, the music, decor and the delicious food was amazing.” – West End resident.
Check out Gordon Neighbourhood House’s next TD Park People food-centric event cleverly named Heart and Farty, on Thursday, September 19th. Learn more about the TD Park People Grant program and our latest round of grantees hosting 225 park events across Canada.
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