"My awareness of nutrition has escalated immensely. It's reignited a passion I have with cooking and food. Now, I read labels at the store too." - community member, Calgary
Food skills programs provide people with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to grow, cook, and choose healthy food for themselves and their families. Through hands-on experience and the support of a community, people are empowered to take control of their health and nutrition and make lasting, sustainable changes in their diets. 77% of people surveyed say they've made healthy changes to their diets since they started coming to programs.
These programs bring people together to cook new recipes, try new flavours, and have fun working as a team in the kitchen. Whether it’s a family cooking program that encourages parents and children to prepare meals together, or an intercultural kitchen program
that makes dishes from a different country each week, every community kitchen uses healthy food as the key ingredient to learning, building skills, and connecting with others.
These programs provide opportunities for people to grow food for themselves and for other Community Food Centre programs. Garden programs offer something for everyone -- a chance to develop skills, to exercise, to access healthy food, and to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. All of these benefits combined can have a positive effect on mental well-being. 56% of those surveyed have noticed improvements in their mental health as a result of their Community Food Centre.
These interactive programs engage children and youth in a variety of fun, food-related activities, from cooking to gardening to riding a bike that blends up smoothies. Kids learn about nutrition and healthy eating, and have opportunities to cook and try new foods.