Job Posting 68725

RFQ - Exploring a Virtual Circular Food Economy connecting Racialized Residents and Foodpreneurs
DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
WORK FROM HOME (Telecommute), Vancouver & Lower Mainland
closes in 24 days (Wed, 31 Mar)
rfp (request for proposal)

About DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society (DIVERSEcity)

DIVERSEcity’s mandate is to support immigrants and refugees and other diverse communities to build the life they want in Canada. For 40 years DIVERSEcity has contributed to the development of inclusive and diverse communities in Surrey and beyond. The organization is rooted within the community, building partnerships that enable the provision of culturally responsive, wraparound services to support the livelihoods of refugees and immigrants through settlement, employment and social enterprise, clinical counselling and language programs. DIVERSEcity also supports community capacity building projects and research that enables systems accessed by refugee and immigrants to become more equitable across Surrey and B.C more broadly.   

Food insecurity is a significant issue that effects the livelihoods of refugee and immigrant communities, which has been further compounded by the effects of COVID-19.  Racial inequity in Surrey food systems means an estimated 43,463 racialized residents are food insecure, lacking access to culturally appropriate affordable foods. In response to the emerging food security issues from the impacts of COVID-19, DIVERSEcity’s Food Security Programming has pivoted from traditional offerings (Community Kitchens and Gardens, food and health literacy and advocacy) to meet the urgent and emerging food needs of refugee and immigrant community members through food accessibility programs and working collaboratively with community partners to support local food hubs. DIVERSEcity is looking to further its role in responding to the food security and justice needs of its community and supporting current community-led food security and justice initiatives through the development of an informed social enterprise.

The Project

A thorough needs and asset assessment of the current Food Security initiatives DIVERSEcity provides, coupled with a stakeholder engagement survey with key partners has informed DIVERSEcity’s role and development of a food justice based social enterprise concept. This informed DIVERSEcity’s successful application to receive funding from the Vancouver Foundation’s Investment Readiness Fund to implement a project that is an ideation and desirability study to understand if a recovered food online marketplace connecting Surrey "foodpreneurs" to racialized resident-led food security initiatives addresses food insecurity. 

This project aims to obtain local data/deep user insight to check solution alignment to need and to formalize the concept into a clearer idea. Little local data is available other than anecdotal evidence or estimates from other jurisdictional data. This will provide capacity within the organization to position business planning and business development in a circular food economy.

Statement of Work

The investment readiness continuum is a non-linear spectrum between the conception of an idea, its implementation and investment readiness. Employment and Social Development Canada defines five stages in this continuum with different skills and supports required at each stage. This project falls into the category of Early Stage Innovation: Exploration and ideation of the initiative - aligning a proposed solution to an identified need.

Aim of Project:

Using a design thinking approach, to validate whether a virtual circular food economy promoting platform and online marketplace aligns to the needs of newcomer/racialized residents and foodpreneurs and further ideate it to ensure it fosters food security.


  • Investigate the main difficult to access foods that are a priority for newcomers in each of the Surrey neighbourhoods and whether or not co-operative buying power would support access;
  • Explore appetite for and feasibility of bulk buying clubs as a mechanism for food security and food justice organizing and related platform functionality;
  • Profile racialized/newcomer foodpreneurs in Surrey, assessing interest for involvement in the initiative and their needs in relation to meaningful contribution to a circular food economy;
  • Carry out an initial exploration of: feasibility, potential for growth, an ethical supply chain and potential collaboration for the Strategic Impact Focus Stage;
  • Create a prototype for further testing and feasibility assessment to move the project into the Strategic Impact Focus stage.


  • Community engagement focus groups for user insight;
  • Supplier engagement survey and focus groups;
  • Desk research on: Surrey business profile, market research, operational/technical feasibility, growth forecasts, potential models, ethical supply chain, software solutions;
  • Facilitation of Working Group to drive engagement strategy and develop prototype;
  • Data analysis and writing of final research report;
  • Reporting to funder and involvement in IRP developmental evaluation.

The proposed project would include:

  • Formation of and capacity-building for a Working Group of racialized community members from refugee and immigrant backgrounds to guide the project with an emphasis on food insecurity risk groups: members of the Black community, refugee newcomers, youth, single mothers, seniors, individuals living with a disability, members of the LGBTQIA+ community. An Advisory Group will be added at a later stage;
  • Partner organizations who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) led in the community engagement;
  • Use of participatory/experiential methods for collaboration, democratic and culturally responsive process/deep user insight of the communities of interest;
  • Provision of first language support, where required, to ensure full participation of individuals with low English.

DIVERSEcity is looking for qualified contractors to provide a Quotation for this Work based on this Statement of Work. The contract term will be, February 19, 2021 to June 1, 2021. The maximum budget for the consultancy fee is $35,000. Project support costs (honorariums and interpretational and translation for participants) is in addition and will be coordinated internally by DIVERSEcity.

Submission Details:

Contractors must have:

  • Bachelors degree in related field with combination of relevant experience;
  • Demonstrable business feasibility planning and development experience, ideally for food-based businesses/social enterprises;
  • Demonstrable understanding of the intersection between racism and food insecurity, ideally with experience in developing projects/businesses that address this;
  • Understanding of migration and settlement experience;
  • Research, evaluation and report writing experience;
  • Project coordination/management experience;
  • Prior experience working with marginalized or vulnerable populations;
  • Experience with anti-oppression and trauma-informed research practice.

Qualified contractors interested in bidding on this Work should submit a Quote (2 pages maximum) detailing their:

  • Interest in the Statement of Work;
  • Basic approach to the Work;
  • Relevant experience in Work similar in scope, size and content (Provide samples, links, references to evidence this experience);
  • Value Adds.

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