UBC Undergraduate Research

Developing food system outreach at Sprouts Canavan, Melissa; Leung, Anita; Ng, Karen; Weiler, Anelyse M.


The University of British Columbia Food System Project is an ongoing initiative that connects campus stakeholders with teams of students from the Land, Food and Community III (LFS 450) course to collaboratively transition the UBC food system toward sustainability. Employing a community-based action research approach, our transdisciplinary team partnered with Sprouts, a student-run cafe and grocery store on campus. Our project involved developing outlines of food system sustainability-related workshops in order to diversify Sprouts’ workshop topics, which have thus far been limited to cooking. We also explored ways in which Sprouts could use its workshops as educational outreach venues to engage people who are not involved with Sprouts. From surveying people within the building where Sprouts is located, we determined that lecture-based workshops should be less than 1.5 hours. This workshop length was also advised by experienced workshop facilitators who we contacted by e-mail. Additionally, we found that there was great interest in workshops on indoor gardening and those with a cooking component, which supported the workshop outlines that we developed. We recommend that Sprouts target specific organizations on campus and in the greater Vancouver community whose members are underrepresented at Sprouts and its workshops. For future LFS 450 teams, we propose acting as a liaison between Sprouts and a target organization to collaboratively design, schedule, and deliver a workshop on a food system sustainability-related topic. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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