Meeting Minutes March 2010

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Thursday, March 31 2010; 1:30-3:30 PM

Blanshard Community Centre, 901 Kings Road, Victoria


Host Jennifer Freeman, 250-388-7696,


  1. 1.       Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking
    1. a.       John Taylor @ Fairfield-Gonzales Community Association.  Recently applied for FarmFolk/CityFolk funding to purchase commercial food processor and stainless steel pots.  Will hear back in a couple of months. 
    2. b.      Theresa Bennett @ Saanich Neighbourhood Place.  Involved in community kitchens and community dinners.  Invites visitors to see the community kitchens in action, to break down barriers to hosting kitchens and to network.  Cross pollinating kitchens with spring break opportunities – some kitchen members are switching groups for a better fit.  Theresa is encouraging this.  “Family” Dinners name was a barrier for some people – they thought that they had to be part of a family, or bring their family in order to partake in the dinner.  There were groups of friends who also wanted to attend the dinners, so decided to change the name to “Community” Dinners.  **Looking for ways to promote these dinners more.**
    3. c.       Catriona Campbell @ James Bay Community Center.  Food activities very popular.  Will be hosting a Food Skills for Families program, starting April 19th.  Will be promoting this throughout the James Bay community. 
    4. d.      Jennifer Freeman – Food Security contract over today (March 31).  Recently moved to Cowichan and will be connecting with Duncan and Cowichan folks. 
    5. e.      Lori Iannidinardo – Cowichan Community Kitchens “Coordinator” since 1996.  Area director for Cowichan Valley “Area D.”  Recently worked to have Cowichan Bay designated “Citta/ City Slow”.  Also developed a Food Security Charter for the region. 
    6. f.        Gina – Works with Lori at Cowichan Community Kitchens, on various projects as grants allow.  Helps to create over 900 individual meals per month through Community Kitchen programs.  Receives food from farms, emergency food supplies, etc.  Large part of program is budgeting. 
    7. g.       Jodi Sturge @ BC Housing – Vancouver Island Region.  Piloting Community Kitchens on various BC housing sites (e.g. Evergreen Terrace, Hampton House, Batton Fielding). 
    8. h.      Dayle Cosway @ Terralicious.  Interested in inter-generational cooking and local foods.  Marketing degree, and interested in how to promote community kitchens. 
    9. i.         Yancy Docq – Board member of the Young Parents Support Network (YPSN), located on Haultain and Empire Street.  Associated with Kiwanis House, who has a working kitchen.  YPSN has drop in groups, on website and Facebook presence.  Participates in community gardens in Calidoni Bldg. 
  2. 2.       Cowichan Community Kitchens – Lori Iannidinardo & Gina
    1. a.       Presented a “Day in the Life” of Community Kitchens:

                                       i.      Cobble Hill Kitchen – meets 2X per month at the Anglican Church.  At the first meeting, the menu is planned.  Supermarket flyers are presented and the budget is determined (e.g. $4 per family member = $120 dollars).  Each member is responsible for doing all parts of the kitchen (planning, shopping, preparation, clean-up).  Also, includes opportunities to “give back” at each kitchen.  Each group chooses 3-4 people to give Extra food (i.e. elders, sick, young children, etc.)

  1. b.      Cooking 900 meals per month in Cowichan at Community Kitchens
  2. c.       Cowichan Community Kitchens pays $0.50 on each $1.00.  Food costs are going up.   
  3. d.      Paid facilitator at each Kitchen @ $14/hour.  Facilitators get paid for the time that they put in (no set amount of time).  2 hours planning + 4-6 hours cooking = 6-8 hours paid. 
  4. e.      Cowichan Community Kitchens are a subsidiary of the non-profit House of Friendship in Cowichan.  The kitchens rent office space and they do all of the CK administration.  They receive base funding from the Ministry of Community & Family ($14-16,000 per year).
  5. f.        Community Contributions, e.g. South Cowichan Rotary sponsors community kitchen Xmas baking.   Rotary Clubs like to fund things or items (i.e. stoves).
  6. g.       Currently putting together Community Kitchens Manuel (received grant from Union of BC Municipalities, UCBM), that includes information on marketing kitchens.  Available free, online at:
  7. h.       Cowichan Community Kitchens also hold waiting lists for community kitchens, are a resource for agencies, involved in Field to Table initiatives, gives back to community and helps to build community capacity
  8. i.         The VCKN was particularly interested in the Budgeting aspect of Cowichan Community Kitchens.  Cowichan Valley could facilitate this “mock kitchen” for groups in Victoria.  Each person could take on a different persona and “walk in some else’s shoes” during the workshop.  Invite city councilors, etc.?
  9. j.        Some interest in “field trip” to Cowichan Bay and Providence Farm.  Bring forward. 
  10. 3.       Promoting Community Kitchens
    1. a.       Facebook PagePlease help to populate this website with all local information & announcements about Community Kitchens.  In addition, please post comments on the Facebook Page. 
      1. b.      VCKN Letterhead & Agency Sign-on – Discussed need to change letterhead to include more people.  Tracy will work with IT at VIHA to change letterhead “look”. 
      2. c.       3rd Annual Traditional Foods of Vancouver First Nations Conference “Celebrating Indigenous Foods in a Changing World” – April 16 @ UVIC;  April 17 @ community centre with info sharing and pit cook, etc.  If anyone is interested in helping to put together a 3-fold display on Community Kitchens and/or manning the booth on April 17th, please talk to Tracy. 
  11. 4.       Community Kitchen Funding
    1. a.       Community Kitchen Sponsorship – This concept is meant to create sustainable funding for nutrition & skill-building groups – community kitchens!   A sponsorship 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, Rotary Clubs, Legions, CDS, CCS, 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. b.      Farm Folk/ City Folk – $2000 due March 31, 2010


  1. c.       City of Victoria’s “Neighbourhood Enhancement Matching Grant” – $5000 due May 1, 2010


  1. d.      March 26 Community Kitchen CR-FAIR Food Forum Workshop – Handout page.  This preliminary research could be used as a backgrounder for funding proposals. 


  1. 5.       Good Food Box – Sushil Sani circulated bulk-buying information last month.  We had some feedback for her re: ordering due date not clear.  Tracy to follow-up with Sushil. 
  2. 6.       Food Skills for Families – Allison was not in attendance, but brought forward that groups have formed, and will begin with new FSFF sessions in April.  
  3. 7.       Canning Workshop with Bernardin – What canning related info/training would you like to see happen in a “one off” situation?  Bring forward. 
  4. 8.       How to get other community groups involved in this work (Schools, churches, etc.)? – VIHA Volunteer (May – August 2010) – complete Community Kitchen Questionnaire
  5. 9.       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.  Tracy to FU with Diane Collis. 
  6. 10.   NEXT MEETING – Thursday, May 13th; 10 AM – 12 PM at the Blanshard Community Center, 901 Kings Street, Victoria. 
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