Community kitchens give people the opportunity to get together to share the cost, planning and preparation of healthy meals. At present there are over 50 community kitchens in Vancouver. Members usually meet twice a month, once to plan four or five entrées and to organize the purchase of food, and once to prepare the meals. Since a licensed kitchen is not required, groups meet in homes as well as church basements, Neighbourhood Houses and community centres.
Some specialty kitchens exist in Vancouver. One "cultural kitchen" provides an opportunity for Vietnamese women to learn about Canadian food products, and how they are prepared. Another has a "Canning Kitchen" where participants put up canned goods such as fruit, tomatoes and jam. Other kitchens specialize in vegetarian, ethnic, and special needs cooking. The interests of the group decide the focus of the kitchen.
Community kitchens are popular for a variety of reasons. Food costs less because it can be bought in bulk. It also takes less time to prepare because it is cooked in quantity - and sometimes frozen for later use. People most appreciate the way community kitchens provide an opportunity for people to get together. Many people have become close friends through community cooking. Some have discovered common interests that have led to the formation of new groups focusing on a variety of social issues.
For a lot more information on Vancouver's community kitchens and community kitchens in general see The Community Kitchens Project
Community Building Activities/ Part 2-3
The Citizen's Handbook / Charles Dobson / www.vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook