Meeting Minutes December 2009

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Monday, December 7, 2009; 10 AM – 12 PM

Aboriginal Child & Youth Mental Health, 1st Fl – 1195 Esquimalt Rd (250-952-4154)


       Regrets from: Fiona Devereaux, Dayle Cosway, John Taylor, Jennifer Freeman

  1. Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking

Lisa Issac – Has been the Aboriginal Mental Health Consultant for a few months now, and still feels like she is just learning her job.  She is focusing on making connections with her community.  She made a good link with Catriona at the James Bay Community Project after the last VCKN meeting.  They will be working together to offer cooking workshops to Aboriginal children and youth.  Had a good idea about the Rethink Your Drink displays – to recreate and offer for loan to various community kitchens throughout the city, as a way to incorporate education into the cooking sessions.

Allison Power – Just finished Food Skills for Families (FSFF) at the Kiwanis House (Sept – Dec 2009).  Allison will be doing the Intercultural Association (ICC) upcoming FSFF session from Jan – March 2010.  In addition, Fernwood has just been approved for another FSFF session from Jan – March 2010, and is looking for participants.  Allison will put together an email to advertise the FSFF session to the public through the VCKC collective group.  Catriona also suggested contacting the LIFE participants through Sandy Clark at the Crystal Pool. 

Diane Andiel –  Saanich Rec was accepted for a FSFF program from April – May 2010.  She will be looking for participants in the new year closer to the time that the program is happening.  Still need to confirm the kitchen location, but will most likely be at Colquitz.  Diane was at a Food Systems Network meeting in Nanaimo last week where island reps were deciding about an Island-wide Food Systems Network (right now, part of the BC Food Systems Network).  Diane also mentioned her desire to get kids more interested in baking.  She encouraged everyone to look at the King Arthur Flour website:  There is information about their school-age program as well as a great video that shows how the program is put on.  Diane is looking into bringing this program to our area.  Lisa suggested this might be a good project for a nursing student to take on. 

Catriona Campbell – With the new fee for service medical plan structure that has been instituted, the James Bay Community Project is just trying to “stay alive”.  Catriona also mentioned how she is interested in maintaining an Aboriginal Youth focus to her programming, and would like to set up a community kitchen with this as a mandate. 

Tracy Cullen – Attended the Farm to School Presentation last week.  Check out the website: for more information. 



  1. Review Community Kitchen Questionnaire & discuss next steps
    1. Community Kitchen Questionnaire – completed & awaiting responses.  Have received 5 responses to date.  Tracy will collate responses and make some initial follow-up phone calls to illicit more responses. 

Group discussed initial next steps with this Questionnaire.  The group expressed concern about the fee for service/ free kitchen space balance.  When promoting the kitchens, we will have to be very careful when discussing the fee for using kitchen space.  Some groups will be charged, and some groups will not, depending on how they would like to use the space.  For example, a group who would like to use the kitchen for canning to sell would be charged.  It was agreed that each kitchen facility would make the calls about fees for service with individual groups that contact them.  When promoting, we will be sensitive to this issue.  

As a first step to promote the kitchens in Victoria, the group decided that we would write an article and submit to various media outlets in Victoria.  The article will include information about the various types of Community kitchens (i.e. one-off no cost to participants with funding; self-sustaining group where individuals come together spontaneously; family dinners; keen individual who starts community kitchen group with specific interest/ focus; etc.)  Allison will ask to her friend, Anna Kemp at Monday Magazine to see if she would like to write an article.  Tracy will talk to Dayle to find out how she wants to be involved in marketing via the media. 

    1. Community Kitchen Primer and Questionnaire – drafted & ready for review.  Group approved new draft. 
  1. How to get other community groups involved in this work (Schools, churches, etc.)?
    1. Reviewed “Community Kitchens Environmental Scan” and discussed next steps.  There were several groups that the members around the table were interested in reaching out to specifically.  Tracy will contact Soup-er meals and ask if they would be able to come to an upcoming meeting to describe their program.  Tracy will try to contact two other groups who already have CKs to attend meetings to describe how they work, etc. 

Group decided to hold off on contacting other new groups until we had solidified the VCKN membership and purpose. 

  1. Community Kitchen Funding
    1. Community Food Action Initiative (CFAI) – Tracy contacted Jarrod Gunn-McQuillan,VIHA Food Security Consultant  to let him know  about the VCKN and our desire to apply for funds through CFAI or other granting means.  Based on the nature of our project, he recommended that we apply for the CFAI under the “Developing a Community Capacity Plan” category.  See this link for a list of successful applicants under this category:

Here is a link to general information about the CFAI:

Jarrod stated that “Good Proposals will create a case for effectiveness of CK’s (RESEARCH) as well as state/prove potential for Island-wide reach.”  VCKC will invite Jarrod to an upcoming VCKN meeting (April 2010?) to hear our ideas for a proposal as well as provide any strategic direction and information. 

  1. b.       Group talked about having a web-presence, and wondering about linking with the Fresh Choice Website.  Tracy will look into this possibility. 
  2. c.       Lisa Issac will look into ability of Nursing Students to conduct community kitchen research for group’s own information re: effectiveness of kitchens and also to use in upcoming research proposals.   
  1. Workshop – Community Kitchen Leadership (Fresh Choice Kitchens, Vancouver)
    1. Tracy contacted Dianne Collis and she is interested in coming to do workshops in Victoria & on Vancouver Island.  She also expressed interest in meeting with our group to discuss their network, how they got started and to answer our questions, etc.   Tracy will be part of advisory group to assist in this funding roll-out. 
  2. Workshop – Creating a Business Case for Community Kitchens (Dayle Cosway, Terralicious) Bring Forward to next meeting. 
  3. Capital Region – Food & Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CR-FAIR) Annual Planning and Networking meeting on December 9, 2009.  Tracy will attend to represent VCKN & talk about linking a community kitchen network with greater Food Security community (including the backyard and community garden groups). 
  4. Community Kitchens Listserv – hosted through the BCFSN (BC Food Systems Network).  Group agreed that this would be a good idea, providing it had province-wise representation.  Tracy will bring formal request forward to BCFSN for approval. 
  5. Food Skills for Families (FSFF) – Allison Power provided an update on the FSFF and presented the two manuals: Smart Budget and Aboriginal.  She mentioned that it is very easy and straightforward for agencies to host FSFF because a facilitator, all funding and workshop structure is laid out.  Literacy aspect of handouts was discussed.  Pre and post questionnaire was presented.  One issue that has come up again and again is that there is no funding for childcare.  Allison has given this feedback several times to the FSFF group. 
  6. Group Check-in (how is everyone feeling about this process?  Needs being met?) Bring Forward.
  7. NEXT MEETING: Monday, January 18, 2010; 10 AM – 12 PM @ SAANICH MUNICIPAL HALL ANNEX (770 Vernon Avenue).  Park anywhere in Municipal lot, and door to annex faces Vernon Avenue, directly across from Yoshi Sushi.      Host Diane Andiel:  250-475-5412;
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