Healthy Food For All

Great article in The Source today about Midwest Food Resources and what we do!

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in News |

Cooking collectives save money

By Jill McKenzie

January 24, 2017 8:38 AM

Not everyone leaves home knowing how to cook, nor how to shop for easy, healthy ingredients.
On top of that, many families are smaller these days.
Buying in bulk might not be feasible for an underemployed person supporting a spouse with, say, two small children.
In many cases, there is considerable savings when buying in larger quantities.
But what if you can’t afford that?
On the flip side, if you normally cook for a number of people, there may be ways for you to save on groceries, time and effort.
As we all know, it’s difficult to make changes and learn new skills, especially when you are under pressure.
So how can people join together to address a basic need in the community—building the skills and buying power to enjoy healthy, affordable meals?
Collective or community kitchens
A collective or community kitchen is a small group of people that get together monthly to plan, shop for and cook meals.
The members and leader meet based on their schedules and the availability of a space to cook in, and childcare if needed.
Participants do contribute to the cost of the food and bring their own containers to take food home in.
A collective kitchen is an opportunity for people to learn more about safe food handling, eating a balanced diet, budgeting, and working together. In addition, it gets people out of their homes to plan, shop and cook together, building community while also giving people the chance to try new recipes and gain confidence in the kitchen.
Cooking at home
There’s no way around it, if you can eat you need to learn to cook.
It is a basic life skill, possibly one of the most important ones.
Use a collective kitchen to inspire you to cook more at home.
Yes, dishes and clean up can be a pain.
It can be hard to find time to keep the fridge and pantry stocked.
There is a drive-thru on every corner these days and our bodies have become trained to crave those fast calories.
But even without considering the budget, it is healthier and therefore very important to prepare food at home.
Once you factor in the cost of take out and ready to serve food, it should be clear that getting into a routine of cooking at home will help your waistline and your wallet as well.
Participating in a collective kitchen is a step towards a healthier, more budget-friendly lifestyle.
A family affair
Would you like to encourage your kids to learn about nutrition, budgeting and cooking, but don’t know where to start?
Kids in the Kitchen may be just what you’re looking for.
Allowing kids to take part in their own kid-centred group allows them to learn by doing and gives them a sense of accomplishment with every meal.
You may find they are more willing to eat food that they have handled and helped to prepare.
As an added benefit, your child may become more interested in helping in the kitchen and more appreciative of home cooked meals.
Increase your buying power
Food banks in Alberta and Saskatchewan report usage is up significantly over the past couple years.
People are struggling to make ends meet and that includes keeping good food on the table.
Luckily, there’s a local program that might help, called the Fresh Food Box.
At $10 for a small box and $15 for a large, this is an affordable way for families to purchase quality fresh produce.
You also receive a recipe in every order.
Order your Fresh Food Box on the first and third Thursday of every month (at 201 5001-50 Ave).
Pick up is on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre, 4602 49 Ave.
There are so many benefits
Most cultures celebrate by cooking and eating together.
As social media takes the place of face to face interaction, some of those family and community connections are being lost.
Along with them are lost the joy of sharing, the pride of displaying what you have created, and the pleasure of companionship.
Collectively purchasing ingredients and preparing food is a great way to reconnect with your community and meet new people.
It is also a great way to introduce your family to new recipes and working together in the kitchen.
Collective kitchens are suited to many different groups, whether it be kids, new or expecting moms, seniors, those with special needs or even those with special dietary concerns.
Cooking and eating together with people from your community fosters friendship and cooperation.
For more information on collective kitchens, Kids in the Kitchen or the Fresh Food Box in Lloydminster, contact Midwest Food Resources at 306 825 2606 or