Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 8, 2010
Low-income women gather at collective kitchen
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
LEDUC - For those people struggling to make ends meet but still wanting to eat healthy, the collective kitchen is helping them prepare nutritious meals on a meagre budget.
"With the St. Vincent de Paul Society, we're working with the poor, people struggling for food and shelter - those are the essentials. We can't always help them with their rent, but we can help them food-wise," said Linda Wan, a collective kitchen organizer from Leduc.
She had heard about collective kitchens in other communities, including a couple of Edmonton parishes, but there were none in Leduc. She took it upon herself to contact the food bank organizer that she would like to set one up locally.
"A lot of people don't know how to cook, so the reason we're doing this, a Catholic-based program for communities and families, especially single parents, is to help with the challenge of preparing low-cost, healthy meals," Wan told the WCR.
Assisting Wan is Sheri Baughman, who has been hosting collective kitchens in Edmonton since June 2008. With the community's high rate of underprivileged people, she welcomed the chance to help in Leduc.
"I decided to do one out here, especially with Leduc having so many low-income people, single parents and senior citizens," said Baughman.
TWICE A MONTH
The St. Vincent de Paul Society subsidizes about half of the food costs. Participants pay a small fee determined by the number of people they are cooking for. The society will continue hosting collective kitchens at St. Michael's Church on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m.
The most recent was held Feb. 2 in the church basement. Participants washed their hands, donned clean aprons and gloves, and scrubbed their cooking paraphernalia afterwards - cleanliness principles that they can incorporate into their own personal kitchens at home.
Participants enjoyed fellowship and learned how to prepare frugal meals, including turkey tacos and turkey fettuccini. Everybody cooked together, and then the participants went home with meals for their families at the end of the day.
"We cook three full meals that they can either take home to their families or freeze," said Baughman.
The participants said that the recipe for pumpkin spice cake was delicious. They can work together as a team on preparing the meals and meet wonderful people. While men are welcome to attend, so far the collective kitchens have been a close fellowship of women.
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