What better way to fight and talk about food insecurity than doing it over culturally appropriate food? Our project, the South Asian Food Pantry, was set up with the aim to tackle food insecurity in South Asian newcomers in our community.
In our previous round of funding, we gifted digital gift cards to those who had reached out. This time around, we wanted to gather in person, make connections, inculcate a sense of belonging and community, as well as share food and stories!
On a hot, muggy evening, we decided to meet at Moody Park in New Westminster – a neighbourhood that is bustling with newcomers, especially those with families. Partners and kids joined us as we exchanged stories of struggle, of not having connections, and struggling to put food on the table. The smell of hot samosas was in the air as we ate our way through, playing ball with kids, and laughing and crying at our common stories. Food, its lack thereof, had brought us together. We talked about how there’s a lot of stigma around food insecurity within the South Asian community and anyone seeking help is looked down upon.
The South Asian Food Pantry gifted six families with grocery gift cards valued at $75 each. A community gathering like this was a great way for our new friends to seek help without worrying about judgement or stigma.