We’re Cookin’ Now! by Paul Seale
Once a week, we gather to cook, eat, and learn, and we’re having a blast! The Old East Village Grocer has been enjoying a partnership with the London Food Incubator, the London InterCommunity Health Centre, and the London Food Bank to offer the City of London’s “Food Families” program to residents of the Old East Village. OEV Food Families brings together neighbourhood families and individuals to form a network that supports, encourages, and mentors using food as a focus.
Kristina McKim says she signed up, “because I can’t really cook,” but she’s also learning “all the avenues of getting good deals and where to and how to buy good food items.”
The Food Families program was originally developed to play a role in tackling poverty. In 2008, the community identified “Ending Poverty” as a priority for London’s children, youth, and families after studies indicated that 1 in 5 London children would experience poverty during their childhood.
The first Food Families pilot took place in the Argyle neighbourhood from October 2013 to April 2014, supported by a network of community partners. The following year, three more groups implemented the program in their neighbourhoods, and the OEV Food Families group launched in January of this year.
Cecil Clark signed up “to save money,” but he also feels he’s “doing something positive and meeting new people.” That’s very much a part of the program. Learning together and creating a network of support has meant that most Food Families participants experience measurable outcomes including better connections in their neighbourhoods, savings on food, and an easier time preparing good food for their families.
But Food Families also recognizes that people come with their own expertise. Maya Clarke signed up even though she has years of experience running her own cooking classes. “I was interested in learning about couponing, but all the modules are good information…. It’s fun and interactive and social. I love that it’s at the London Food Incubator and the OEV Grocer.”
To learn more about the Food Families program, visit www.cynfoodfamilies.com, call 519-661-5336, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the recipes prepared this past week, please click here.