Meeting Minutes January 2010

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Monday, January 18, 2010; 10 AM – 12 PM

Saanich Municipal Hall Annex; 770 Vernon Avenue, Saanich


Host Diane Andiel:  250-475-5412;


Present: Tracy Cullen (chair & recorder), Suzanne Rosebrock, Jennifer Freeman, Allison Power, Diane Andiel, Catriona Campbell, Dayle Cosway


  1. 1.       Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking

Suzanne Rosebrock – Works at Capital Families 20 hours per week.  Had kitchen in Fall, 2009 with 6 people sign up.  Free to register.  Charged $10/session – each person took home 2 meals for family of 4.  Corresponded with existing Kindergym, so kids were encouraged to attend that while parent was cooking.  Ultimately, not very successful, and was cancelled for January 2010.  Would like to try program again in February.  Ideas to advertise to LIFE clients and in Island Parent magazine. 

Jennifer Freeman – Part of a participant-driven community kitchen at the Fernwood NRG kitchen.  Uses this kitchen for free.  Also hosting a series of Food Security workshops at Blanshard Community Centre.  Upcoming workshop on Grant writing and funding proposals, set for Saturday, Jan 23in PM. 

Group Discussion:

          How to start small… prepare vegetables to take home as healthy snacks or to make meal preparation easier and quicker (i.e. when parent got home from work).   Centre or groups could buy food in bulk (Costco or Fairway or Rootcellar?) or use Good Food Box days to prepare whole foods for use in the home.  

          How to incorporate kids & tweens into a community kitchen?  How to attract this age group? 

Allison Power – Reported that Saanich Neighbourhood Place is running a Food Skills for Families – like program (without FSFF money) for parents who have graduated from their Best Babies Program.  2-4 childminders are also being provided for Free.  SNP is paying for all of the food, as well as the facilitator.    Allison is teaching FSFF for VIRCS clients at the SNP.  Allison said that this group is very inspiring because they have high-level cooking skills, but need assistance in cooking in Canada with North American food choices. 

Diane Andiel – Looking at starting more community gardens in Saanich, and linking then with community kitchens and canning workshops (the complete circle).  Saanich is also interested in starting a more comprehensive backyard gardening program.  Diane started a conversation about including high and low-needs clients in the same community kitchen group to improve the mentorship piece.  How can people transfer knowledge and skills between each other and across generations? 

Catriona Campbell – Focus at the James Bay Community Place is on seniors cooking classes, and increasing the number of community kitchens.  Also, dealing with quantities of donated turkeys – working with the Galloping Goose Sausage Company to make fresh sausages out of the turkey.

Dayle Cosway – Launching a new Terralicious Blog on February 1st with the host being the new Kitchen Demo Garden farmer.  The blog will feature daily information about what the farmer is doing in the garden, and invite others to join in and do the same in their home gardens, community gardens, etc.  Dayle is also interested in hosting more cultural evenings that include music, food and stories at her teaching kitchen space. 

  1. 2.       February 3 Community Kitchen Leadership Workshop – Put on by Fresh Choice Kitchens (Vancouver).  Registration being provided by VIHA & Space being provided by Fairfield Community Association.  The workshop is full at this point with several people on the waitlist. 
  2. 3.       Promoting Community Kitchens
    1.  “Marketing Community Kitchens” Workshop – Tracy & Dayle presented the idea of hosting a workshop to demonstrate and discuss ways to use Social Marketing Techniques and websites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, UsedVictoria,, etc. etc. etc.) to promote and recruit Community Kitchen facilitators and participants.  This workshop would assist the Victoria CK Network as well as individual kitchens in Victoria.   

The group thought that there was already enough information out there about social marketing and how to get the word out about the network and individual kitchens via the web.  The group was comfortable marketing their programs and felt like we could gain a greater web presence ourselves.  Allison Power volunteered to look into developing a WordPress website as well as a Facebook Page for the VCKN.   Tracy Cullen volunteered to look into getting our 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. Community Kitchen Media Article – Anna Kemp @ Monday Magazine – Allison Power mentioned that Monday Magazine no longer has a budget for freelance stories.  Therefore, Anna would not be available to write a story about the VCKN.  However, she is still interested in sitting down and discussing potential media opportunities in the area.  Allison to contact Anna and set up this meeting.  Invite all VCKN members. 
  1. 4.       How to get other community groups involved in this work (Schools, churches, etc.)?
  2. 5.       Community Kitchen Funding
    1. a.       Nutrition volunteer (Kylie Rencher) to do research into effectiveness of kitchens and also to use in upcoming research proposals  – Tracy will be connecting with Kylie this week and will report back.  Interest from group to do research on several different age categories, including families, teenagers and seniors. 
    2. b.      Jennifer Freeman mentioned that she is doing a workshop for writing proposals and funding opportunities on January 23rd.  She is putting together a spreadsheet of funders, interest areas and dates – Jennifer will share this list with the group once it is completed. 
    3. c.       Jennifer mentioned that there is a Coast Capital Funding LOI due February 12, 2010.  This is an easy, online proposal that provides $3-10,000 in funding.  Interest areas are youth, homelessness and community wellness – Community Kitchens would be a great fit for this funder. 
  3. 6.       Community Kitchen Questionnaire – collate responses and make some initial follow-up phone calls to illicit more responses.  Recruit Volunteer (Kylie Rencher)?    Tracy will connect with Kylie and report back. 
  4. 7.       Capital Region – Food & Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CR-FAIR) Annual Planning and Networking Event December 9, 2009 – Tracy updated that she and Diane Andiel attended the recent CR-FAIR Annual Meeting at Fairfield Community Centre.  It was well attended, and one of the take home messages was around CR-FAIR communication and outreach.  It is not clear where the VCKN fits with the existing structure of CR-FAIR.  There may be an opportunity to network with Community Gardening groups or the Food Access committee through CR-FAIR.  Diane will be sitting on the CR-FAIR Steering Committee, and will bring this request forward.
  5. 8.       BC Food System Network Community Kitchens Listserv – EM request went out January 12, 2010 for an administrator.  If anyone is interested in administering this group, please email Abra at BCFSN. 
    1. Soup-er meals – Tracy tried to contact Soup-er Meals without any luck.  Tracy will try one more time this month to reach out. 
    2. Capital Families (Suzanne & Jennifer Girard – avail M&W 2-8 PM & all day Fri) – will change day of next meeting so hopefully Jennifer can attend next meeting. 
    3. Saanich Neighbourhood Place (Theresa Bennett not avail M&W) – will change day of next meeting so hopefully Theresa can attend next meeting. 
    4. Cowichan Community Kitchens Network (Lori Iannidinardo) – will be attending the Leadership workshop and will connect with this group at that time. 

NEXT MEETING – Thursday, February 25th from 10 AM – 12 PM at Blanshard Community Centre.  Jennifer Freeman will be hosting the meeting.  More information to follow. 

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