For The Record: Food Security in the Downtown Eastside

Erin Laforet / February 25, 2020

The Downtown Eastside residents on Main Street.
(Erin Laforet / BCIT News)

Concerns around rising housing costs frequently grace BC headlines, but what is often left out is the link between housing and food security. Homelessness is a major contributor to malnutrition in the Downtown Eastside, as it’s difficult to secure access to nutritious food. Food Program Coordinator for the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House Leilani Reum says the connection is often overlooked.

“We keep talking about housing and rising housing costs but those connections to food security and other social issues just aren’t always gathered. I think that’s something that needs to be connected more.” – Leilani Reum, Food Program Coordinator for the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

Most programs run through the DTES Neighbourhood House focus around healthy food that is accessible and provided with dignity. The DTES Neighbourhood House annually welcomes 9,000 residents in a community where 70% have low‐incomes, 700 are homeless and 5,000 are under-housed.

Listen to the full interview here: