Meeting Minutes February 2010

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Thursday, February 25 2010; 10 AM – 12 PM

Blanshard Community Centre, 901 Kings Road, Victoria


Host Jennifer Freeman, 250-388-7696,


  1. 1.       Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking
    1. a.       Catriona Campbell – @ James Bay Community Project.  After Community Kitchens Leadership workshop, was inspired to do more with CKs.  However, many other priorities at JBCP lately…
    2. b.      Jennifer Freeman – Contract @ Blanshard Community Centre with a focus on Food Security.  Will put an article into the Hillside-Quadra newsletter to invite groups to use the Blanshard Kitchen. 
    3. c.       Sushil Sani – Works for the Good Food Box Program.  Will be giving a more in-depth update later in agenda.
    4. d.      Theresa Bennett – Currently covering a maternity leave at Saanich Neighbourhood Place.  Programming at SNP provides a “family dinner” 1/ per week and 2 community kitchens.  One of these CKs now working self-sufficiently.  Providing childcare at all programs – Theresa is lobbying to have this maintained at all cooking & food programs.  She sees this as an essential key in attracting and maintaining participants.   Theresa also set up program for Best Babies graduates to cook for new BB groups.  The money that would normally go to Thrifty’s platters is now being paid to BB graduates to fund their community kitchen. 
    5. e.       Diane Andiel – Coordinate Food Skills for Families program – starting in April.  Taking the Food Safety for Farmers workshop in Saanich.  Currently member of the CR-FAIR Steering Committee and helping to plan the March 26th Annual Food Forum at VNFC.  Hoping to have a community kitchen workshop.  Also, announced the Eat Well Get Moving program – this program is in its 5th year, and currently reaching 7,000 students in the region.  Thrifty’s is a major sponsor.  See for more information. 
    6. f.        Allison Power – The Food Skills for Families program at VIRC has just wrapped up.  Session # 2 at SNP is still ongoing.  Beginning April 4th, there will be 4 programs running in Victoria (Blanshard CC, SNP, Saanich and Fernwood NRG).  James Bay Community Project hopes to get another program running in April.  Mary Hill @ CDA is very sick, so use Barinder as main contact for FSFF program.  **Allison also reported that we have 40 members on the VCKN Facebook page.  Please help to populate this website with all local information & announcements about Community Kitchens.  In addition, please post one comment on the Facebook Page before the next meeting. 
    7. g.       Dayle Cosway – Works at Terralicious, a for-profit company that is working towards the same cooking and food skills goals of our non-profits.  Mentioned idea of “Sponsored Community Kitchens”.  Also interested in starting a “cookbook club” @ Terralicious with high school students.  Will choose one cookbook (Examples: Carolyn Harriet’s “Zero Mile Diet”, Eric Akis’s “Everyone Can Cook”, Rebar’s cookbook) per week/month, and invite participants to choose and cook a recipe.  Discussed idea of “Cookbook Libraries” – how can we get good cookbooks donated to community centres and kitchens for reference & inspiration?
    8. h.      Tracy Cullen – Works at VIHA as Community Nutritionist.  Working on several projects, including the new Farm to School initiative.  Discussed concept of Farm to School, and kick-off at Reynolds High School on March 24th.  This initiative is a win-win-win to bring farmers and consumers (schoolchildren) together to 1) introduce kids to where their food comes from, 2) broaden farmers marketshare and 3) raise money for schools. 
  2. 2.       February 3 Community Kitchen Leadership Workshop
    1. a.        All agreed that this workshop was effective in inspiring others to start community kitchens.  Diane mentioned that it was interesting to cook together with others in the hands-on portion of the workshop.  Dayle said that she learned how community kitchens could be just as much about building community as cooking food. 
    2. b.      Tracy mentioned that she would like to talk to Fresh Choice Kitchens about coming over in the fall 2010 to host another CK Leadership Workshop as well as a Train-the-Trainer Canning Workshop?  Tracy to F/U with this in August 2010. 
  3. 3.       Promoting Community Kitchens
    1. a.       Allison Power has created a Facebook Page for the VCKN.   We already have over 40 members, and there is lots of information on the site, including links to the Fresh Choice webpage and pictures.  Thanks Allison J


  1. b.      Discussion about how and when to promote Community Kitchens through a media press release, talking with one reporter to get a feature article, etc.  Group had many ideas for media contacts in region.  The group thought that we should be focusing on getting more community kitchens up and running in Greater Victoria before we begin promoting the Network.  Some discussion about how that might be a good angle…  “Kitchens sitting vacant, want to get more community kitchens up & running, etc.”   Group decided to put this on hold right now and focus on getting more kitchens going in region.  Will re-assess in August/September 2010. 


  1. c.       Tracy Cullen will get up-to-date contact information (as well as info on existing Community Kitchens and FSFF) on the Fresh Choice Kitchens website, the Community Council website as well as VIHA. 


  1. 4.       Community Kitchen Funding
    1. a.       Jennifer Freeman Hosted Funding Workshop January 23, 2010.  Reported back on success of meeting, and outcomes.  Reviewed funding excel spreadsheet as well as word document with names & contact numbers for major funders.  Jennifer mentioned that she would like to form a list serve of interested people to keep the spreadsheet up to date, and to spread the word about new & upcoming funding opportunities.  If you are interested in being part of Jennifer’s list serve, please contact her directly at:


  1. b.      VCKN Prospectus – Who we are, what we do, how to we liaison with others?  Bring Forward. 


  1. c.       Community Kitchen Sponsorship – Dayle Cosway mentioned this idea at the CK Leadership Workshop.  Brought forward to the meeting today to discuss with group.  This concept is meant to create sustainable funding for nutrition & skill-building groups – community kitchens!  Idea would be to draft a sponsorship letter that describes need and cost break-down to host a community kitchen.  This letter would be taken to various individuals and organizations (i.e. Thrifty’s, Save-on-Foods, Heidi Fink, Eric Akis, chef at Zambri’s, Epicure Selections, etc.) to ask for a small amount of money ($1000-$2000) to get a community kitchen up & running.  Tracy to draft sponsorship letter and circulate to group for comments & ideas. 


  1. 5.       Good Food Box – Sushil Sani, GFB Coordinator – Presentation on 2010 updates to GFB, Bulk buying through GFB and future plans.  Sushil mentioned that they will be focusing on their bulk-buying aspect of GFB, and hoping to create a network of non-profit agencies and community kitchens who would like to purchase food on a regular basis.  In summer, GFB is 100% BC and local, with costs 40-60% below retail.  Also will be offering a delivery service of produce, with a $10-25 sliding scale flat fee to deliver.  When ordering, can specify organic, non-sprayed, or conventionally-grown.  Currently ordering 1x per month… will look to pilot 2x per month ordering in March 2010.  Tracy to get Sushil’s Power Point Presentation and circulate to group. 

Group was interested in how to link community kitchens with GFB delivery days.  “Prepping Parties” is something that Allison Powers tried at Kiwanis House and was very successful.   Someone also mentioned “What’s for Dinner” company, and using this model to host similar community kitchens.  See for more information. 

  1. 6.       How to get other community groups involved in this work (Schools, churches, etc.)? – Cowichan Community Kitchens Network (Lori Iannidinardo).  Tracy to invite to next meeting.    Jennifer Freeman also mentioned that churches would be a very good fit with this work… how can we network with these organizations? 
  2. 7.       Community Kitchen Questionnaire – collate responses and make some initial follow-up phone calls to illicit more responses.  Bring Forward. 
  3. 8.       BC Food System Network Community Kitchens Listserv – EM request went out January 12, 2010 for an administrator.  ACTION ITEM: If anyone is interested in administering this group, please email Abra at BCFSN. 
  4. 9.       NEXT MEETING – Wednesday, March 31 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM @ Blanshard Community Center.  Host: Jennifer Freeman ( 
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