I Know What To Eat, I Just Can’t Afford It: Part I
In the wake of our recent BBQ raffle on behalf of Edukitchen we feel that this is a prime opportunity to share stories about EduKitchen. Thank you to everyone who helped support EduKitchen by purchasing a BBQ raffle ticket! In total you helped us raise $2200, which will help us to continue to expand this wondrous resource.
EduKitchen is a food focused grassroots program that has four components that contributes to the personal development of our community members (individuals and families living in poverty):
1. Make Together Lunch supports vulnerable individuals in accessing food and the space to prepare and serve a healthy meal for the Lakeside HOPE House community using ingredients found in our Food Market.
2. Peer Led Kitchen expands everyone’s culinary skills through the preparation of low cost, nutritious and delicious meals facilitated by community members using their recipes whilst supported by a professional social worker.
3. Container Gardening, delivered by the Julian Project, provides education on urban and container gardening. Each participant prepares and receives a fully stocked produce garden that they are able to take home providing them with increased access to healthy and nutritious food.
4. Adult Educational Workshop gives community members access to the most up to date information topics such as the link between nutrition and mental health, cooking for diabetes, and healthy eating.
When we started the EduKitchen program we did so with the mindset that if we teach people how to cook with what they have in their pantry they’ll be able to thrive on less. In some cases this has been a successful approach. There are folks who do require life skills training in and around food.
However, for the most part, what is revealed as the program unfolds is that our community members possess rich culinary backgrounds and skills. What they don’t have is food, pots, and/or a kitchen to cook in.
HOPE House community members report that they know what they need to eat, they just can’t afford to buy it. They simply require access to that which they don’t have so that they can put their knowledge to use. The fresh produce from our Food Market, along with educational programming using and growing fresh fruits and vegetables, fills the gap to provide food security otherwise not accessible to community members living on social assistance. What is also evident is that everyone who attends our EduKitchen programs bring something to the community. This is truly the gift of EduKitchen – that it offers everyone an opportunity to contribute to the community with the skills that they have.
Written by Mary Crome and Kimberly Lyons