Home Blog November 2015 Look What’s Cooking in our Kitchens

Look What’s Cooking in our Kitchens

Look What’s Cooking in our Kitchens
The act of cooking and sharing a meal is one of life’s simplest pleasures, yet one of the most rewarding in so many ways.

Our Kitchen Creations fund, sponsored by Unilever, recognizes this by supporting organizations that provide education and skills in the areas of food, nutrition and meal preparation.
Take a look at some recent grant recipients and you’ll see how helpful these programs are, and why they are essential.

Breaking bread in Manitoba

In Gimli, Manitoba, Evergreen Basic Needs received a grant to install a commercial kitchen. This will help them expand two interconnected programs.

One provides food services training at the organization’s Helping Hands Café, primarily to young people. Another, the Community Dinner Program, gives families who are struggling financially an evening out with their family at the café over a hot meal prepared by staff. The need for this service nearly doubled in the past year.

The entire experience is “an opportunity for camaraderie and friendly conversation in a restaurant atmosphere. It is an evening of enjoyment, dignity, sharing and respect,” says Rhonda Powers of Evergreen Basic Needs.

With the new facilities, Evergreen is expanding the skills training program to include food preparation and restaurant management, which will increase job opportunities for participants. Trainees will be involved in menu planning and meal preparation and will assist with the Community Dinner Program, which in turn will enable Evergreen to expand that important program too.

A program grows in Alberta 

Since 2005, the Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge, in Alberta, has offered classes such as healthy cooking on a limited budget and young chef programs through its Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen. About 1,700 people attend the classes each year.

The programs are so successful that the organization has waiting lists of eager participants as well as numerous requests from agencies who want to offer similar programming.

The Kitchen Creations grant is helping Interfaith expand their offering by implementing the organization’s innovative ideas. A Train the Trainer workshop will teach staff from other agencies how to deliver the Interfaith programming to participants in their own region. Once trained, “Mobile Kitchen” supply totes allow agencies to access all of the supplies they need to deliver the training to their constituents.

“Our goal is to get 36 agency staff trained to deliver our Mobile Kitchen programs,” says Interfaith’s Danielle McIntyre.

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)