Community Kitchens by Alison Colwell
What are Community Kitchens?
You might have seen the posters around advertising one? Or maybe you received an email inviting you to one? And maybe you were wondering what a Community Kitchen is?
A community kitchen is a group of people who get together regularly to cook and eat together and bring food home. We generally meet once a month. When we first encountered the community kitchen idea it was presented as a way to encourage people to improve their own health and nutrition, while also strengthening community ties.
The Community Kitchens’ Project started in Vancouver in the mid-1990s, and has since grown to be a province wide organization. They are now an educational and informational resource centre for cooking and nutritional skill building programs across British Columbia. I have attended two workshops with them and try to bring back those skills to our community.
On Galiano we have added to the project a desire to use what is locally in season, and source food from local stores whenever possible. During the winter and spring we cook meals, and as harvest season comes we switch to canning and preserving kitchens, using gleaned produce whenever possible. Community Kitchens are about strengthening relationships with each other and improving our relationship with food.
At our community kitchens, the meal is planned ahead of time, based on what’s available. The recipes are printed and the ingredients are gathered. When the participants arrive everyone goes where they want – choosing the thing they want to work on, and then small groups make that part of the menu, deciding for themselves how to proceed. Often they follow the recipe. Sometimes they don’t. The food is always delicious. We eat together, sharing what we learned, or letting others know the changes that were made, and then we divide up the food that’s left amongst the participants. Usually everyone gets two meals to take home. The kitchens run on a sliding scale of $15-$20.
To attend a kitchen you must RSVP Alison Colwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-539-2175, extension 2- FOOD PROGRAM