How We Work

The VFTP is run by a small but fierce board and employs a Coordinator – handling all logistics, inquiries, and daily operations – as well as a Lead Pick Leader. 

We meet once a month for regular board meetings (open to the public – contact us for the next meeting date), and hold an Annual General Meeting before every new season.

We are a group of people who care about food waste, community food security, and making local connections. We love what we do and hope we might inspire you, too!

Meet the Team

Maddie

President

Hi, I’m Maddie and would like to acknowledge that the VFTP operates on the unceded, unsurrendered territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wauthuth First Nations.

I am a masters student in Resource and Environmental Management at SFU, and am interested in how NGOs can better acknowledge and respect the wishes and protocol of the First Nations whose land we operate on.

Having previously worked as an archaeologist back home in Ontario and as a landscaper the past five years in Vancouver, I am interested in how we treat and interact with our living surroundings. I created SLIV.ca and joined the VFTP board in hopes of helping volunteers, landowners and partner organizations work together for food security, resilient landscapes and tight-knit communities.

Thank you for visiting our website!

Clint

Vice President

Hi, I’m Clint, I help out with the website, blog  and the newsletter. I found the project when looking for a volunteering opportunity that would be of service to people in my neighbourhood. Stumbling upon a group dedicated to getting quality, but potentially wasted, food to people most in need, and in my own backyard blew me away. I’m very excited to help get fruit to our great community partners.

My profession is computer consulting – I provide technical solutions to businesses in a language the management understands.

In my free time I’m likely to be found walking around Kits beach with my family, bouldering, reading, wrestling with my son, or figuring out the inner workings of the latest technology in my home lab.

Jenn

Treasurer

Jenn is passionate about food security and reducing waste. She has been shaking down apples from her parents backyard trees as long as she can remember, and loved turning those imperfect fruits into delicious apple sauce. She got involved with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project by volunteering making tasty fruit tarts as part of the Tree House Treats project.

She keeps busy working for various non-profit organizations around Vancouver including the Vancouver Farmers Markets, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and Tourism Vancouver. In her spare time, Jenn enjoys festivals, photography, riding bikes, bee-keeping, growing vegetables at City Hall, planning adventures, helping out on her friends farm, and attempting to play the ukulele.

She looks forward to epic blackberry & cherry picks all winter long, and her favourite fruit is blueberries. And figs. And apricots. And…

Amy

Secretary

Hi there, I’m Amy! After having volunteered on fruit picks and outreach with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project, I’m excited to be serving on the board, and contributing to its work that uses local resources, and makes healthy food available to more people.

Food and waste projects have been on my plate for the last few years. Most recently, I worked at Embark, a student sustainability organization at SFU, where I worked on food and community-building projects with volunteers. I have also had the pleasure of volunteering at Quest Food Exchange, where I worked with the food recovery system firsthand, alongside awesome volunteers. This experience inspired my Master of Urban Studies research on food recovery in Vancouver.

I love harvesting local fruit since you get an appreciation for how the fruit grows, and you also get to enjoy the fruit at its freshest – foraging for blackberries in Vancouver is one of my favourite summertime activities. Other passions include swing dancing, cycling, and singing in a choir.

Lucas

Coordinator

Hello! I’m Lucas, the coordinator for the remaining 2018 season, and I’m very grateful to be in this position. Whether it’s starting a conversation in a bike lane, on a dance floor, or at a café, my passion both personally and professionally has always been to connect to others. I come from a background in broadcast communications where I worked as an on-air host and reporter and was able hone my ability to engage people and tell stories.

Now, I’m excited to apply those skills in a community relations role with VFTP. Being with this tremendous organization fulfills my desire to generate a positive impact on the local community and further develop a more vibrant Vancouver!

Tiger Lilly

Lead Pick Leader

Hi, I am Tiger Lilly, the paid pick leader for the 2018 season! Having a background in horticulture and Natural Resource Conservation, this position seems like a natural fit! I love working with the land, being outdoors and surrounded by plants. Harvesting extra fruit from tree owner’s backyard’s and donating it to community partners is something I find truly meaningful.

It’s been a great season so far, seeing the dedication of volunteers to the organization and saving backyard fruit from going to waste. I graduated university with the hopes of making a difference in the world, and this position is a great start.

Tanya

Member at Large

Hi! I’m Tanya, and I love learning about the ways that food affects our bodies and our climate, and how it shapes our communities. I love it so much that I am currently studying to be a registered dietitian.

As I have begun to learn about the intensely complex relationship we have with food, I have been searching out ways to celebrate the importance of fresh, whole foods in our community. I love the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project because it brings people together to share delicious, local, fresh fruit. It’s so simple, yet so profoundly important.

In my spare time, I am happiest hiking up a mountain or listening my way through a great playlist on a summer road trip. And eating food. Lots and lots of good food.

Rashmi

Member at Large

Rashmi has been living in Vancouver since 2016 and is a Certified Master Recycler. She is also part of the Resident Advisory Committee in the West End for the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program.

Rashmi is actively involved in many community building activities and is very passionate about her work. Some of her projects include Little Seed Library, Our Miniature Gardens, Awesome Bangalorean Cuisine, Go Creative, Fiber ARTery, Puzzle Party and Boomerang Bags Chapter for the West End neighbourhood in Vancouver.

She loves having healthy interactions with the people in her community and likes to share her knowledge. She frequently hosts workshops on themes like Zero Waste Lifestyle, Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking, Menu Planning and Meal Prep, Mason Jar Salads, Beeswax Wrap-Making, Making Tofu and Paneer at Home, Gardening etc.

Rashmi is trying to lead a sustainable way of life and takes the Do-It-Yourself approach to everything. She is interested in all aspects of the food cycle: seed saving, growing, cooking, reducing food waste and composting. She came to know about the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project via social media and liked the goals and focus of the organization. She is excited to join the team and is looking forward to contributing positively to VFTP.

Silvia

Member at Large

Silvia is passionate about community involvement; whenever possible she contributes by supporting sustainable and green initiatives. With over 8 years working for local government, in a leadership capacity, Silvia is well versed in keeping communities in mind and educating them about being green.

Silvia has always had a passion for food which can be linked back to fond memories of family gatherings and events. She strives to ensure that healthy food options and lifestyle are part of her young family’s daily routine. Silvia further promotes this lifestyle with her international exchange students, from all over the world, having been a host mom for over 10 years.

In an effort to reduce her carbon footprint Silvia likes to support local farms as much as possible; knowing that average fruit may travel between 1,500 and 4,000 kilometers before it arrives in her community is a large motivation for her to shop local. By supporting local farms and products, this means less petroleum products; it also means reduced carbon emissions as compared with locally grown produce. Most importantly it means her family enjoys fresher, riper, more flavourful fruits and vegetables by supporting local farmers and shopping local. Another fun piece that Silvia is involved in is food sharing; by creating a food swap group, she is able to share produce grown in her own garden with friends and family as well as enjoy produce from their gardens.

Silvia’s love for supporting sustainable choices stretches beyond food. Silvia also volunteers with NOBARS (No Borders Animal Rescue) a non-profit organization, whose volunteers are dedicated to providing rescue to stray, abandoned, abused, or surrendered animals, to prevent cruelty, to re-home and promote the welfare of animals.

In her spare time, Silvia keeps active by being out on the field playing soccer, hitting the bags at her kickboxing gym and chasing after her 2 little ones. To unwind she enjoys having a glass of wine and painting canvases.

Roxci

Advisory Board Member

Roxci, born and raised in Vancouver, loves and appreciates what this lovely fertile land has to offer our communities. She is a freelance content writer and community engagement specialist, with a background in volunteer program management, the non-profit industry, and business administration.

Roxci has not only lead multiple volunteer teams across the lower mainland, she has also been a volunteer in the community for over 20 years herself. She is dedicated to supporting at-risk youth and working towards food security for all in our city, she’s passionate about fostering a sense of community and helping others overcome social and political barriers.

The associations between food insecurity, societal food waste, and nutrition and health outcomes fascinates Roxci and she is constantly researching the topics to learn more and share this knowledge with others. She believes the history of the world stands on the importance of community and is very passionate about the work done at the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project.

In her spare time Roxci travels as much as possible, she been to 18 countries and counting! She loves being outdoors and reading a good book whenever time allows.

Nadine

Advisory Board Member

Hi I’m Nadine, and 2013 was my first year as a volunteer and board member with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project. My love for plants and the environment began in childhood, from my mother’s vegetable garden, to bike rides and walks through local forests with family and friends, and later summer jobs working at greenhouses and field-stations. This led to my Masters in Science, where I specialized in botany, environmental science, and biochemistry. From there I obtained my Bachelors of Education with the goal of engaging the public in alternative learning spaces. This has since included the following roles: Education and Outreach Manager at UBC Botanical Garden; Science and Technology Museum Consultant; Research Greenhouse Supervisor with the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems, TVOntario Environmental Education and Outreach Intern.

Food systems and security are an extension of my interest in plants and the environment, so a friend invited me on two Vancouver Fruit Tree picks. We harvested apples and heaps of grapes, gave some to the home-owners and ourselves, and the bulk to a social service supporting those in need… What a fantastic idea and a great way to give-back, I wanted to be more involved so I applied for a board position. I’m excited to be part of this and to work with everybody! When I’m not busy with work or volunteering, you can find me cycling, hiking, or gardening.

Richard

Advisory Board Member

Richard is a passionate horticulturist who has been teaching and advising gardeners and farmers across British Columbia for more than 35 years. He grew up on an orchard in the Okanagan Valley where he started pruning and grafting as a teenager. For most of his career he has been a technical advisor to the commercial tree fruit, Christmas tree and Agroforestry industries in BC. Two years ago he started a new business to train and mentor gardeners and farmers in the art and science of directing the growth of trees for fun, aesthetics and food production. He is a Horticultural Advisor to the Vancouver Tree Fruit Project, Historic Fort Langley, Historic Stewart Orchard and several other organizations in the Vancouver-Fraser Valley area. He is a Registered Professional Horticulturist, a Certified Arborist and a Master Gardener.