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Our organization is centered around the idea that cooking together can have a profound impact on the community's well-being. By encouraging community members to cook and learn together, we envisions a community where individuals have the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices and support one another in leading healthier lives. Through our programs and initiatives, we strive to empower individuals and families to take control of their health and create positive, lasting change. 

Mission: Nanaimo Community Kitchens promotes food security and nourishes the community through accessible cooking programs that promote skill development, knowledge sharing, friendship, and self-esteem.

Vision: To create a healthy community through cooking, bringing people together and promoting overall well-being. 

What we do: We provide access to economical, nutritious food and build food preparation skills to increase food security in Nanaimo. Our programs help individuals and families pass on essential cooking skills to the next generation and create stronger connections within the community.

Overall, our mission and vision reflects our commitment to promoting health, nutrition, affordability, and community building through the act of cooking together. By focusing on these core values, we aim to improve the well-being of individuals and the community as a whole. Our programs are designed to help families and individuals learn how to cook healthier meals and adopt a healthy lifestyle. By bringing people together in the kitchen, we aim to create a healthier community.

How to Get Involved

We support individuals, community groups, and agencies in their efforts to start and maintain community kitchens in Nanaimo. New groups are being formed all the time. Call us at 250-753-7470 or email us to find out how you might benefit from joining a new or existing group or how you can volunteer with our organization. 

Donations can be made through Canadahelps.org or e-transfers can be sent to nanaimocommunitykitchens@gmail.com.

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Current Volunteer Opportunities:

Cultivate and Cook Summer Workshops: Assisting with workshop preparation, supervising participants during cooking activities, providing guidance on cooking techniques, helping with setup and cleanup, and supporting workshop leaders.

Running a Booth at Community Events: Manning informational booths at community events, engaging with event attendees, distributing promotional materials, sharing information about Nanaimo Community Kitchens' programs, and running activities for children.

Cooking Out Of The Box Workshops: Helping to facilitate cooking workshops focused on creative and resourceful cooking methods, guiding participants through recipes using fresh fruits and vegetables. Assisting with setup and cleanup, and providing encouragement and support to attendees.

Nourishing Ourselves Workshop: Supporting workshops aimed at promoting health and nutrition for youth and young adults.

Cooking Out Of The Box In Schools: Assisting facilitators with cooking workshops in schools, engaging with students in hands-on cooking activities, promoting healthy eating habits, teaching basic cooking skills such as knife skills and recipe reading.

Bellies to Babies Cooking Program: Assisting with cooking sessions for parents and soon-to-be parents, helping with setting up and creating a supportive and inclusive environment for participants.

What is a Community Kitchen?

A community kitchen is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to cook healthy, nutritious, meals. From recipe selection to shopping, cooking, and clean-up, everyone participates. Within the groups, participants find fun, friendships, and the tools to stretch their food dollars. The quantity of food that is prepared is divided among group members to take home. Community Kitchens are participant-driven, with each group deciding how their kitchen operates.

Why Join? 

  • Stretch your food dollars
  •  Learn safe food handling practices
  •  Try new recipes
  •  Cooking from scratch made easy
  •  Share your cooking skills with others
  •  Have fun while building skills and friendships
  •  Build self-esteem and confidence in planning and preparing meals

What is Food Security?

When a community is food secure, all of its citizens have dignified access to affordable, good-quality, nutritious food. While this may seem simple enough to achieve, the effects of globalization, the rising costs of real estate, and growing income disparity, are all conspiring to disconnect the average citizen from the source of their food.

As people lose the ability and skill to grow and prepare their own food, they become dependent on distant suppliers, out of season produce, and processed foods. In short, the source of their food is not secure and the quality is compromised. This problem is compounded in a place like Vancouver Island where the added burden of transportation compromises the cost and quality of even the basics.

Nanaimo Community Kitchens is working to increase food security in Nanaimo by providing programs that build food preparation skills of participants. They in turn can pass them on to their families. Often basic cooking skills are lost from generation to generation.  By cooking together we feed individuals, families, and our communities.

 

Thank you to all of our funders!

We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.