Derek Gent + Family
Derek Gent has committed to take the Welfare Food Challenge together with his wife, Jennifer and their three children, Talula (12), Amelia (10) and Gus (9). In his day job, Derek is Executive Director of the Vancity Community Foundation, an arms-length charity associated with Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver, and he serves on several nonprofit Boards, including the coordinating committee for First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition as well as the Living Wage Campaign.
The family lives in East Vancouver, where the kids all attend public school and they are active participants in a range of sports and activities through the schools and with Britannia Community Centre. Jen, a professional archaeologist by vocation, also serves as chair of the local Parent Advisory Committee and volunteers across a broad range of efforts in support of the kids and the local neighborhood.
Managing a food budget of just over $100 for a family of five for a week is a daunting prospect. Derek and Jen are hopeful that the kids will gain a new appreciation for how profoundly challenging things are for families on income assistance, and the extreme privilege with which most of us live. “We hope that by enhancing our own empathy and raising awareness, our family’s participation may help contribute to changes in the nearer term that better support those living in poverty, and that the kids will be further motivated to help end poverty in the longer term.”