Planning Your Career: Chef and Entrepreneur Heat Laliberte

Good Food for All’s Careers in Food Program is our job readiness and employability program offered to East Vancouver youth.  We aim to support youth on their continued path to a healthy and productive life after high school by helping them receive training, secure employment, and embark on a career pathway in the food industry. Long term, our goal is to increase stability in their lives and improve long term food security by securing higher incomes.

Good Food for All welcomed Cree-Mėtis chef and entrepreneur Heat Laliberte to the Eastside Afterschool Program as the first speaker in our Careers in Food Program series.

Heat’s own career path and personal success inspired the creation of the Careers in Food Program. His career trajectory exemplifies what happens when opportunity meets passion and hard work. We invited Heat to speak to youth to describe his journey and what it took to get to where he is today.

Chef and Entrepreneur Heat Laliberte discusses his career path with youth at the Eastside Afterschool Program.

Heat’s Story

Heat grew up in a low income household frequenting food banks. Heat began working in the food industry at establishments like Tim Hortons and Moxies and found a sense of family working in kitchens. Heat’s work ethic led him to find a chef mentor who encouraged him to attend Vancouver Community College’s Culinary Program and start an apprenticeship in the hotel restaurant industry. He was named Employee of the Year at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Heat cooked for athletes in the 2018 and 2018 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and Pyeongchang, South Korea and will again in Tokyo, Japan in 2022. After completing the Aboriginal Business & Entrepreneurship Skills Training (BEST) program, Heat went on to his own venture – One Arrow Artisan Meats – an artisanal bacon company that is a hit at the Vancouver Farmer’s. One Arrow can now be found on Spud.ca!

Together with Good Food for All and the Careers in Food Program, Heat wants to inspire at-risk youth to pursue careers in food:

“If you can get youth to experience the rewards of hard work, commitment and healthy choices it really sets them up for success in adulthood.”

 Heat’s Career Path

A Commitment to Give Back

Even with a full time job and his own business, Heat still prioritizes giving back to his community. He says, “I’m at the point in my life where I’m going to take my business full time and I want to be able to mentor people who want to be chefs as well. It’s a good way to give back to the community or to people who want to learn how to cook because you have the skill set to be able to teach other people as well.”

True to his personality, Heat brought some incredible prizes to give out at the conclusion of his talk with the youth.

Thank you to Heat for being a huge inspiration to us and always supporting our programs!

Peer Leadership with Good Food for All

Leadership in Action: Preparing Snacks for the Eastside Afterschool Program

Introducing: Peer-Leadership at the Eastside Afterschool Program

The Eastside Afterschool Program aims to empower youth to make lifelong healthy choices by improving access to physical activity, nutritious food, education and a healthy community. Through the Peer-Leadership Program at the Eastside Afterschool Program, Good Food for All provides leadership opportunities for youth to get involved with our day-to-day activities at the program. Leadership opportunities include the chance to plan weekly snack menus, prepare food, plan and teach nutrition education and food skills sessions, and stock the food pantry.

The Peer-Leadership Program develops youth leadership skills, deepens their knowledge of nutrition and food, teaches food preparation skills, and provides vital pre-employment training for jobs in food-related industries.

To date, youth have assisted with preparing daily afterschool snacks for their peers, researching nutrition sessions, and teaching nutrition and food skills classes for their peers.

About the Eastside Afterschool Program

In 2017, over 400 youth from East Vancouver attended the Eastside Afterschool Program. Now in its 3rd year, the program is a collaboration of community partners working to encourage and promote holistic well-being and optimal development for youth in East Vancouver. Partners include the Eastside Boxing Club, Good Food for All, Aprons for Gloves, Network of Inner City Community Services Society, and RICHER Initiative. The partnership provides a safe space for at-risk youth in East Vancouver, supervised physical activity, leadership opportunities, and access to health care. Good Food for All provides nutritious afterschool snacks, a healthy food pantry, and nutrition education and food skills classes for youth in the Eastside Afterschool Program.

Support the Peer-Leadership Program

Good Food for All relies on donations from the community to run our programs.  Please consider making a donation so we can continue to ensure youth develop lifelong healthy habits.

Foodie Q&A: Food and Self-Care

How to incorporate food into your self-care routine

Food and Self-Care

At our last Foodie Q&A, we talked with youth about using food as a form of self-care. Youth are nearing the end of their school year, and many are under a great deal of academic stress. Our goal was to teach youth about the concept of self-care and how food can be a great tool to take care of your body and emotional well-being.

We began by reminding them that by simply showing up at the Eastside Boxing Club’s after school program, exercising, eating healthy snacks, taking home food in the pantry, and hanging out with their friends, they are already practicing self-care.

We illustrated ways food can be used for self-care by sharing some of our favourite self-care foods and when we use them:

Sparkling water in a cute can when we are feeling a bit down and need something fancier than regular water. Something about those adorable Perrier cans is an instant mood-booster, and lethargy or sleepyness is often linked to dehydration.  

If we haven’t slept well, we switch coffee for green tea in the morning. It has caffeine, but many other health benefits like antioxidents. In the evening, sleepytime tea and a bath can calm your mind and help you fall asleep easier.

If we need a night on the couch, popcorn and Netflix with a friend or family member. Not surprisingly, we did get called out for eating microwave popcorn and we were reminded that there is some bad stuff in it!

Finally, our all-time favourite comfort food, Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Youth shared their favourite Mac ‘n’ Cheese toppers (hot dogs and broccoli).

As with all our Foodie Q&A’s, homework was to try out some of the self-care foods we brought in. We encouraged youth to listen to their bodies when choosing foods and to eat mindfully. Mostly they were just excited about the Perrier cans.

Support Nutrition Education for At-Risk Youth: Make a Donation

Donor Profile: Heat Laliberte

Good Food for All is thankful to have wonderful donors like Heat Laliberte and the team at Fairmont Pacific Rim supporting our mission to increase access, interest, and knowledge of healthy food for East Vancouver youth.

Heat is a chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver and is launching his own venture, One Arrow Artisan Bacon, (yes please!) later this spring.

Heat and his co-workers at Fairmont Pacific Rim organized a food drive and collected enough food to stock the Punch ‘n’ Munch food pantry for a full month. Read on to find out why Heat donated and what he hopes his donation will accomplish.

Name: Heat Laliberte

Occupation: Chef/Owner One Arrow Artisan Bacon & cook at Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel

Favourite (healthy) food: Chia seeds

Real favourite food: Bacon!

Do you have a special message to share?

I grew up in a single parent and low-income household. We relied on the food bank and Christmas hampers more than I can count. At the time I was ashamed and embarrassed about it but once you grow up, have a career, become self-aware you can give back. It’s paying it forward in a sense. For the lucky people that haven’t had the struggles you can motivate others to give back!

What motivated you to donate to Good Food and the Punch ‘n’ Munch Program?

I attended a beginner class with a regular and struck up a conversation with Leigh Carter at the Eastside Boxing Club desk. She gave me a tour of the gym and showed me where the kids have their safe space to come to. I noticed their dry goods/non perishables supplies were low and thought I should start a food drive. The culinary team at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel were super receptive and many people donated food and cash donations to purchase food.

What do you hope your donation will achieve?

I hope it inspires other to donate healthy food to the Punch ‘n’ Munch Program. I hope it brings awareness to the youth in the DTES that are making proactive choices. They could choose the latter. If you can get youth to experience the rewards of hard work, commitment and healthy choices it really sets them up for success in adulthood.

A huge thank you to Heat and his co-workers for supporting Good Food for All!

Make a Donation

 

What’s In Season: Asparagus

Asparagus nutrition facts

After one of the rainiest starts to spring on record, this week of sun had Vancouverites collectively squinting at the big ball of fire in the sky. Spring has sprung, the cherry trees are in bloom, and asparagus is in season! Here’s a collection of recipes showcasing our favourite BC grown spring vegetable: the majestic asparagus.

Pesto means to pound or to crush.  Why not pesto up some asparagus, garlic, and oil with this Asparagus Pesto recipe from Jennifer Schell.

Go full Canada with pickled sea asparagus in your Cesar. Dan Clapson answers, “What the hell is sea asparagus?

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Spanish Asparagus Revuelto from the New York Times is basically fancy scrambled eggs!

Support your local farmers and pick up some asparagus this weekend.  Happy Friday!

Introducing our new food pantry

Whats in your food pantry?

Thanks to a generous donation from Camp Yoga, we were able to stock the Eastside Boxing Club Youth Program’s new food pantry. The pantry allows youth in the program to take home an array of foods, ensuring they don’t go hungry in between program days.

Food Pantry
Pantry staples: Brown rice, canned tuna and salmon, fresh apples, oranges, and pears, oatmeal, rice milk, peanut butter, trail mix, unsweetened apple sauce, low-sodium soup, and popcorn.

We stocked the pantry with fresh, organic, nutritious staples.  At Good Food for All, we believe in food equality.  Every pantry should be stocked with high quality foods, regardless of who you are. Cuppa Noodles have no place here!

Good Food Pantry

Learn more about other ways we work to ensure youth in East Van have access to healthy, nutritious food through our Punch ‘n’ Munch Program. 

Want to donate items to the food pantry?  Shoot me an email: beth (at) goodfoodforall.org

Nutrition Session: Pre- and Post-Workout Foods

Nutrition Talk with Spud

To kick off our nutrition education series, we invited Gaby from SPUD Vancouver to talk to the Eastside Boxing Club’s Youth Boxing Program about what to eat pre- and post-workout.  Our goal with nutrition session was to emphasize the importance of eating both before and after a workout, provide examples of the best foods to eat, and dispel some of the myths that surround salt, fat, and carbs.

As a Holistic Nutritionist, Gaby believes in using both diet and lifestyle to help individuals achieve healthy balance and well-being. Like Good Food for All, Gaby is passionate about sharing her knowledge and empowering people to make healthy choices.

Access to nutritious food and a working knowledge of nutrition basics is absolutely essential if youth are to remain active and healthy throughout their lives.  Currently, children and youth in Vancouver are not getting enough nutrition education. According to a recent study by the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research,

Despite local and provincial efforts to engage students in food and nutrition experiences, participation in most activities remains relatively low, with few students exposed to multiple activities. Continued advocacy is needed from the dietetics community to improve student engagement in food and nutrition activities.”

Help us continue to provide much needed nutrition education to Vancouver youth – make a donation!

Huge thank you to the Eastside Boxing Club, Gaby, and SPUD for helping us foster a culture of  “good food” in our community!

Meet the Board

We are pleased to introduce Good Food for All’s Board of Directors.  Our international team has expertise in the public and private sectors and ample passion for social issues.  Read on to meet the Board…

Elizabeth Profile Picture
Elizabeth Fisher, Executive Director

Elizabeth Fisher was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. For the past 10 years, she has traveled the world working in the nonprofit sector.  During this time, Elizabeth earned her BA in International Development from McGill University in Montreal and her MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University in New York. She has worked with vulnerable and marginalized populations in Kenya, Rwanda, Cambodia, and New York in the areas of economic development and education.  Upon her return to Vancouver, Elizabeth opted to focus her efforts on more local needs and founded Good Food for All in 2015. She looks forward to using her skills and experience to tackle food insecurity and inequality in Vancouver.

Laura Bennegadi, Chair of the Board
Laura Bennegadi, Chair of the Board

Laura Bennegadi was born and raised in Paris, France where she graduated valedictorian of an M.S. in International Strategic Management at the Sorbonne University. Laura decided to use her business background to contribute to the success of artistic and cultural endeavors. She has worked in the New York theater industry as an associate producer on three Off-Broadway shows and has worked as a marketing coordinator for US tours of live shows. Laura has also experience in development as she worked on fundraising campaigns, such as the American Friends of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s campaign which led to 30M Euros donations by 18 individuals. She is currently the Associate Director of the T.Fellowship program, in association with Columbia University School of the Arts. Laura is the CEO and Founder of ArtBound Initiative, an international arts internship program which connects interns with professional artists, galleries, and arts organizations in New York and in Berlin. www.artboundinitiative.com

Rachel Tennenbaum, Secretary
Rachel Tennenbaum, Secretary

Rachel Tennenbaum is an experienced communications professional, California native, and NYC resident. She currently works at the education nonprofit Teach For America, where she develops knowledge management strategies to facilitate communications between TFA’s national development team and its 53 regional offices. She joined TFA as a communications associate, and previously served as a communications manager with HealthCorps, a teen-health nonprofit founded by Dr. Oz. Rachel has a BA in Writing from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in International Relations and Media from NYU. A committed social justice advocate, Rachel nurses an interest in sustainability and alternative economic models. Given some down time, she can be found doing yoga, taking exploratory walks around the city, and reading. She is so happy to be part of Good Food for All’s work.

Greening Good Food Initiative

biodegradable paper plates

We at Good Food for All love our mother earth and are committed to environmentally sustainable business practices at all stages.  From buying and serving local and organic food to utilizing sustainably sourced office supplies, we actively try to reduce our environmental footprint wherever possible.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of our Greening Good Food Initiative, which will reduce the environmental footprint of the Healthy Snacks for Active Youth program. The Greening Good Food Initiative will reduce environmental impact by switching from plastic food service items to eco-friendly, compostable, non-toxic, and/or sustainable material food service disposables. The initiative will substitute plastic cutlery and cups for wooden or compostable. It will also substitute toxic dyed plates, bowls, and napkins made from raw materials for non-toxic made from recycled materials that are easily composted and/or recycled after use.

Get in on the green: DONATE 

Good Food for All would like to extend a special thank you to Vancity Credit Union for their generous donation to the Greening Good Food Initiative.  Vancity makes incredible investments in our community- if you aren’t banking with a credit union, you’re doing it wrong.