Community Kitchens participants take the cake


I walked into the kitchen at the Trail United Church to meet the participants of Community Kitchens. Five friendly, enthusiastic people greeted me. They were working together to prepare a healthy meal for their families. They were tossing advice back and forth on how to prepare this or how to fix that, handing each other ingredients they needed, sharing the dishwashing duties, and generally just being social.

They looked like they were having fun. It was a good day. I was there to take their pictures for the Skills Centre’s social media and other communications. I wanted to stay and help and, yes, test the chocolate peanut butter squares that hadn’t even gone into the oven yet. (I didn’t; that’s not why I was there.)

Community Kitchens is one of the Skills Centre’s poverty reduction programs. People living with low income join our facilitator each week to learn about nutrition and food budgeting. Together they make a healthy meal with inexpensive ingredients. This day they were making meatloaf, a vegetable side dish, and chocolate peanut butter squares. Alanna, the facilitator, was clearly pleased to share that they were doing all this for less than $50 in food costs for all of them.

There was much more at play than economical meal planning though. They were sharing stories, socializing, becoming friends, building each other up.

They were happy to have me take their photos. They were equally happy to share how much they appreciate Alanna’s guidance and Community Kitchens. They shared their gratitude openly and unsolicited. It made me feel good to hear their genuine appreciation for the opportunities Community Kitchens is giving them.

It is a great example of strengthening our community together. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have more programs like Community Kitchens and more local people taking part?

Community Kitchens is part of our Thriving for All poverty reduction initiative and is funded by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and Teck. The Skills Centre is dedicated to strengthening the region’s workforce, promoting inclusion and eliminating poverty through initiatives such as Community Kitchens.