Hey kids, do you want to learn how to cook?
Many youth in North America are reconnecting with where their food comes from. Young Cooks is a food skill program at the LUSH Valley Food Action Society at 1126 Piercy Ave. in Courtenay.
The Young Cooks share and learn about food in the kitchen, at the farm and at markets. Exploring food connections increases knowledge of food issues related to nutrition and health, pollution and climate change.
Typically the youth who participate in Young Cooks come from families with mental-health problems or from low-income families. Youth get to explore cooking, choosing nutritious ingredients, recipe reading, basic budgeting and an introduction to the local food system through field trips.
Programming is geared to develop relationship skills with peers and community members. During the past session the kids were inspired by all the locally grown food available at the market, and learning why it is important to shop locally. They learn about the issues of unfair working conditions, and what fair trade means to both the growers and themselves.
Every session, the Young Cooks participate in a project that helps to express what they have learned about food. Previous groups have done murals, films, and constructed raised gardens.
We are recruiting youth that want to improve food skills and increase their community awareness of the local food system. Students will receive food safety instruction and be able to prepare numerous, healthy meals of their choosing. A healthy snack at the start of each class is included and a fresh meal for the whole family is taken home.
There will be a Young Cooks Summer Day Camp from July 7 to 11 and Aug. 25 to 29. Keep an eye on our website for details.
The Young Cooks Program is made possible by the support of the Children’s Health Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, the Province of B.C. and United Way.
The program will be active 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons with the occasional Saturday (for field trips), between March 19 and June 4.
More information can be found at lushvalley.org. If you know a youth who may be interested have them, contact Debi or Cynthia at 250-331-0152 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— LUSH Valley Food Action Society