Since opening our doors in 2012, Greener Village Community Food Centre has been able to offer a variety of programs and services that space simply couldn’t accommodate for at the former Fredericton Food Bank location downtown. One of the initiatives we are most proud of is Our Greener Kitchen. Our Greener Kitchen is more than just a place to prepare food, it acts as a community gathering space as well as a venue for educating clients and the public on healthy living.
So far, Our Greener Kitchen has hosted a number of different groups from the community, including New Brunswick Community Harvest Gardens, the YMCA, Community Food Mentors, and more. Groups use the space for lectures, workshops, meetings, and special luncheons. It has been used both for education and celebration. The popularity of the space has been one key to its success. Proceeds from all our catering activities go right back into funding nutritional education programs at Greener Village.
Beyond providing a community gathering place, another cornerstone of Our Greener Kitchen is education. Kitchen coordinator Kate MacKay has observed what an obstacle a lack of food education can pose to people already struggling with issues of hunger and poverty. “Clients tell us that they are interested in feeding their families healthy, nutritionally sound meals while sticking to a budget. There’s a myth out there that people have to chose between eating good food that nourishes their families and inexpensive food. We are here to put an end to that myth,” Kate writes.
By offering cooking skills building workshops for clients, access to simple, nutritious recipes both online via the Our Greener Kitchen Blog and in the halls of the food centre, and initiatives such as the collective kitchen project (still in the early stages of development), Our Greener Kitchen aims to empower clients by giving them more agency over what they eat. “Over the past few decades, the skills our grandmothers took for granted have been lost. One of our goals at Our Greener Kitchen is to bring that knowledge back to our own kitchens. This is where our teaching kitchen project will come into play. If you wanted to learn about canning, preserving, or different cuisines, such as vegetarian, Indian or Asian, we’ll be offering classes in some of these areas in the future.”
For cooking tips, recipes, and an in-depth look at different ingredients, visit the Our Greener Kitchen Blog at: http://ourgreenerkitchen.blogspot.ca/