Meeting Minutes March 2011

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Wednesday, March 30, 2011; 10 AM – 12 PM

James Bay Community Project, 547 Michigan Street, Victoria


  1. Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking

Tara Skobel ( – New coordinator for Pandora Youth Apartments.  Currently doing a cooking club through the Youth Outreach Project.  Tara and Catriona Campbell will connect about youth programming. 

Holly Fredrickson – Volunteer with the VIHA Nutrition Program.  Working on several projects that will be discussed today. 

Betsy Nuse – From the “Radical Stirrers”, currently a community kitchen group at the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (past 2-3 years).  Has a desire to give back to the VCKN. 

Sheila Avery – New community kitchen coordinator at Saanich Neighbourhood Place.  Sheila has a background in home economics, and just returned from living in China.  With her new role, she will be looking to link with new immigrant families, and increasing the number of SNP community kitchens from 2 to 3 and maintaining the Wednesday night Community Dinners. 

Allison Powers – Involved in several community kitchens in town, including the James Bay Community Project Youth Kitchen.  Allison and Catriona are trying to get this kitchen up and running.  Also, involved in giving Food Safe Trainings and Herb Gardening. 

Diane Andiel – Works with the Recreation Department at the District of Saanich.  Involved with many food security related projects, including community gardens and CRFAIR. 

Catriona Campbell – Works at the James Bay Community Project as the coordinator of community projects.  Recently asked for and received some money from the local Rotary Club  to support the Youth Community Kitchens, however will wait until the Youth Empowerment Club Kitchen is renovated (potential link with Tara at the Youth Apartments & their kitchen?).  In addition, Anna Wren will be working with the James Bay Community Project to do a series for seniors (with money from VIHA).  Also, Marc from the Cridge will most likely be using the kitchen at JBCP for his program working with brain injuries.   

Heather – Works to develop the Wayward School and integrate community cook-a-longs. 

Tracy Cullen – Community Nutritionist at VIHA and conveener of the VCKN for past 1.5 years.  She helps to coordinate a community kitchen among friends – their most recent CK was to make dolmades and perogies… yummm…


  1. Business
    1. Fresh Choice Kitchens – Community Kitchen Leadership Workshop (with Community Kitchen Funding & Social Enterprise talk) and Master Canning Workshop with Bernardin  May 17 & 18, 2011 – Group discussed outline and prioritized topics to be discussed at the workshop.  ACTION:  Tracy to relay information to Fresh Choice.
    2. Update on meeting with Brent Palmer at the Mustard Seed re: Community Kitchen pilot project and future funding opportunities – Tracy & Diane provided the group with an update and discussed next steps.  They let the group know that the pilot project is currently with Saanich Neighbourhood Place and the James Bay Community Project.  Group discussed how other community kitchens can access food from JBCP & SNP to get food from the Mustard Seed.  Will plan to have a meeting with Brent in June to evaluate the project and discuss other Community Kitchens that would like to come on board. 
    3. Mapping Kitchens in Greater Victoria, so that we can refer groups & individuals who are interested in cooking – Kelly Frederickson, Dietetic Volunteer reviewed work to date and disseminated the spreadsheet that she was beginning to work on.  She solicited feedback from the group, and will take that back to complete her mapping of kitchen spaces in Greater Victoria. 
      1. Group also discussed where to house this information once it is completed.  Discussed “fit” with UVIC student site and CR-FAIR’s Food Access work.  Group decided that they would like to see the information in our own “Victoria Community Kitchens Network” website.  ACTION:  Tracy and Heather to follow up with this and look into development of a WordPress website. 
  1. d.      Promotional 3-fold display update and development of flyers to attract specific high-needs groups – Kelly Frederickson presented her work on the display board, and the group provided feedback.  Catriona was not able to pilot the display due to a silent auction in the JBCP lobby, but will erect the display and get feedback in May.


  1. e.      Food Skills for Families Letter – ACTION: Tracy & Fiona to follow up and write a letter expressing our concerns/ regret on the collapse of the program. 


  1. Community Kitchen Funding Opportunities
    1. “Cooking out of the Box” – Group continues to look for an organization/grant to fund this program
    2. Sponsorships/ “Adopt a Community Kitchen” Program – Update & Other Ideas? 
      1. Saanich Neighbourhood Place mentioned that they are looking to start a partnership with Thrifty’s.  ACTION:  Tracy to send Sheila sponsorship information. 
      2. James Bay Community Project mentioned that they have a relationship with the Thrifty’s in JB, who will donate items that are about to go off, etc.  Catriona actually leaves a “Bin” out in the store for folks to collect items, and then she picks up 1x per week, etc.
      3. Also, it was discussed that Save on Foods is recently interested in “winning favor” with the new Walmart across the street.  There might be a possibility of approaching SOF. 
  2. Community Kitchen Promotion/ Outreach
  1. a.       Maintain & Update VCKN Facebook site – Group talked about putting meeting minutes on Facebook, as well as linking with the Fresh Choice Kitchens facebook site.   ACTION:  Allison will put VCKN Flyers (for May 17 & 18th) on Facebook site, and Heather will Tweet this info.  Tracy TO DO:  Change the Facebook site to a “closed profile”


  1. b.      Other Ideas/ Opportunities?  How can we work together to fundraise for Community Kitchens in our region? 


  1. Housekeeping
  1. a.       Letterhead – Tracy reported that this is complete.  Remove from Agenda. 


  1. b.      Cowichan Community Kitchens Budgeting session – Brought forward to September 2010 meeting.  Jennifer also mentioned that she would be able to lead a “mock” budgeting session with us so that we could get a feel for how the CCK folks operate their kitchens.   ACTION:  Betsy Nuse is interested in following up with Lori at CCK to find out how they get Municipal funding. 


  1. Next Meeting – June 15, 2011 at SNP; 10 AM – 12 PM. 
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