Past Exhibit: You Are What You Eat (2019)

Stories from the past and present in New Westminster to help us understand how people eat in our community.

View the exhibit here.

The exhibition ran from Thursday May 16, 2019 to December 1, 2019.

See below for exhibit links, associated programs and more.


Community Kitchen

This exhibition has QR codes with information if you want to find out more.  The links are also listed below, under each section:



Some common food terms you’ll see in this exhibition.


What is Food Security?

“Poor people are lazy and don’t want to work.”  Do you believe these myths? Check out these New West poverty myth busters and what you can do to help pull people out of poverty.

Like and follow New Westminster Community Food Action.

The Official Community Plan provides the vision and goals for the city to 2041, including policies related to food.

The Community Poverty Reduction Strategy identifies specific actions to enhance the quality of life of those people living in poverty and to provide opportunities to assist them to move out of poverty.

Two of the 14 goals in the Environmental Strategy and Action Plan relate to the environmental impacts of food.

New Westminster Food Security Action Plan

Food Sovereignty

Starting in 2007 and lasting about five years, the Fraserside Community Services Society’s Biggest Little Garden in Town project helped apartment residents start gardens on their balconies with tiered cedar boxes that were accessible for all people. With seed and garden workshops, this social enterprise helped people access fresh produce that they themselves grew, even if they didn’t have a backyard or a plot. Watch this video about the project.

Community Gardens
Find out about getting a plot at one of the community gardens.

Keeping certain farm animals to supplement diets is legal in New West.

For the laws on raising chickens in New Westminster, see 1967’s Public Health Bylaw No. 4271.

If you meet the requirements, you can also keep a beehive in New West. See the bylaw.


Food Systems: Farming and Fishing

The Choi Guide
Vancouver’s Hua Foundation put together a seasonal guide for the Chinese vegetables grown in the Lower Mainland. You can read it in English with pronunciations in Cantonese and Mandarin. Here’s the Cantonese version to help you on your next shopping trip.

Food Systems: Distribution and Access

The Food Costing in BC report provides data about the affordability of food. It tells us how much income families and individuals need in order to eat healthy meals. The report is done every two years by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), with the last one completed in 2017. The report informs calculations for living wage numbers.

Fuel Up
A 2017 UNICEF report ranked Canada 37th out of 41 countries for children’s access to healthy food.

In February 2019, after two years of planning, the New Westminster School District launched a cost-shared universally accessible school lunch program, the first of its kind in Canada. Starting in three schools (Qayqayt Elementary, Queen Elizabeth Elementary and Queensborough Middle Schools), it will eventually be available to all schools in the district.

Read more and order a meal for your kids.

Things Were So Cheap Back Then!
Or were they? Compare the prices in the ads below to what they would be in today’s money. Use an inflation calculator

Food Systems: Consumption

$40 a Week @ the Market
In 2016, blogger Katie Bartel wrote about her summer market challenge: to stretch out $40 every week at the New West Farmers Market. Read about it.

Food Literacy

Canada Food Guide

The new Canada Food Guide, released this year, recommends a shift to a more plant-based diet, with water as the drink of choice. The aim is to have a plate that is half vegetables, one-quarter protein (such as nuts, meat and tofu), and one-quarter whole grains (like bread, rice and quinoa). It also recommends reducing sugary drinks (including juice), sweets and pastries, salt and saturated fat, and alcohol.

New West Cookbookery

There is a cookbook lending library at the River Market. Share the cookbooks you love for a while or forever, or take out what you need for a month.

To borrow a book, register here.


Our City’s Food Culture

Helping You Celebrate
Did you know that the Family Services of Greater Vancouver has grants for community celebrations through the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant program?

Neighbours around New West have found unique ways to get to know each other through food. At the Glenbrooke Salad and Pie days, residents brought their home-cooked meals to share with one another. A Roma Hall chef got a grant to teach Italian cooking at Thompson’s Landing Park in Queensborough. The Fraser Fraser River Food Buying Club received seed funding to establish. Many have received grants to start new community gardens or have multicultural meals.

Apply for a grant here.

Diverse Eating in New West
New West has many good international restaurants.

Explore Downtown’s shops and restaurants with this map.

Or check out the diversity along Twelfth Street.