Meeting Minutes November 2010

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010; 10 AM – 12 PM

James Bay Community Project, 547 Michigan Street, Victoria


  1. Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking
    1. Congrats to Allison Powers & her son Keygan for winning 2nd place in the Hands OFF Cooking Contest!  See:
    2. Lexi Ratz – Programs & Donations Assistant for Women in Need (WIN).  Will attend the December 2nd Community Kitchens Leadership Training in Vancouver.  Very interested and motivated to learn more about kitchens, how they work, etc.  Plans to start a community kitchen with WIN’s “New Start” project, and will use the Fairfield-Gonzales CK space (maybe the Gary Oak room as well). 
    3. John Taylor – Facilities Manager for the Fairfield-Gonzales Community Association.  Reported that their kitchen is starting to get more use, and is pleased with the number of inquiries he is getting from the community to use/rent the kitchen & Gary Oak room. 
    4. Mark Fournier – Community Support Coordinator for the Cridge Center for the Family, Brain Injury Services.  Mark has been working with Camosun College’s Adult Education/Access Program (Continuing Education) to put together a Community Kitchen training program for individuals with a brain injury.  Camosun will deliver the training, and they will either run the program out of the Fairfield-Gonzales Kitchen or the Glad Tidings Church Kitchen.  Looking to start the program in February, and will be directing students to run their own kitchens.  They will also have a focus on community connections and re-integrating individuals into their community.   Looks to support and empower clients to help themselves to do meaningful work in the community.    Mark noted that Camosun is interested in FTE’s, and that this program has the potential to be adapted to a higher-functioning audience (Community Kitchen Leadership Training).  Group also discussed possibility of asking Fresh Choice Kitchens to come over to the island in the New Year to do a second round of their Community Kitchen Leadership Program.  Tracy to follow-up with Diane Collis, ED of Fresh Choice Kitchens. 
    5. Betsy Nuse – Member of the Fernwood NRG Community Kitchen.  Unfortunately, this self-directed/ participant-driven kitchen is in the process of looking for a new home.  The FNRG is not allowing the group to use the large kitchen anymore, and the replacement kitchen is not suitable for 6 people to cook comfortably.  See this website for a list of other potential kitchens in Victoria: 

Betsy talked a lot about the benefits of belonging to a community kitchen:

Those who cook together laugh; share; learn; eat together! 

    1. Catriona Campbell – Community Volunteer Coordinator at the James Bay Community Project.  The Project has and currently undertakes various cooking programs (e.g. soup programs, healthy snacks, baking classes, “Talk & Cook” Classes, etc.).  They also grow many of their own vegetables, and are a Good Food Box depot. 
    2. Anna Wren – Dietitian at VIHA, and currently spends 1 day/week as the SARIN (Senior’s at Risk Integrated Health Network) dietitian.  Target population 55+ years with at least 2 co-morbidities.  Currently learning about what resources may be available in the community, and excited about being at our meeting to network.  Already doing lots with seniors groups.  Interested in Intergenerational Learning.  John Taylor mentioned that Fairfield-Gonzales’s kitchen is wheelchair accessible.  Group talked about mapping all of the kitchen spaces in Greater Victoria, so that we can refer groups & individuals who are interested in cooking.  Tracy to follow-up with this. 
  1. Information Sharing: 
    1. How to manage and Raise Funds for Childcare in Community Kitchens: .  Group discussed how child minding can be a challenge for successful community kitchens.  Try Volunteer Victoria to post for child minding volunteers. 
  2. Business:
    1. VCKN Letter of Support to Fernwood NRG & Update from Fernwood Community Kitchen group.  Completed – Letter Presented to FNRG Board of Directors in October 2010. 
    2. CR-FAIR Food Access & Recovery – Working Group & Advisory currently developing a tool to increase communication amongst the 39 community agencies in Greater Victoria that distribute, transport and store emergency food.  There will be a way for various groups, such as community kitchens to benefit from this online tool.  See:
    3. Soup Sisters (  Diane Andiel will email organizer about starting “Soup Sisters” in Victoria.  ACTION:  Tracy to f/u with Diane re: Soup Sisters.  Group discussed how this fundraiser could potentially raise funds for the VCKN to run more Food Skills for Families programs in the region. 
    4. Food Skills for Families – VCKN to write a letter of support to Canadian Diabetes in support of the program?  ACTION:  Tracy to draft letter for review at next meeting. 
  3. Community Kitchen Funding Opportunities (All)
    1. “Cooking out of the Box” – Group continues to look for an organization to fund this program (Hellman’s Grant & Van City Grant – denied). 
    2. Sponsorships/ “Adopt a Community Kitchen” Program  – Tracy and Catriona met to discuss.  This is moving forward. 
    3. TD Financial Literacy Grant (work with Cowichan Community Kitchens to implement budgeting/ community kitchen program in Greater Victoria?)  FYI. 
    4. Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children Grant – Letter of Intent Due December 1:
  4. Community Kitchen Promotion/ Outreach (All)
  1. a.       CR-FAIR Making Food Matter Newsletter Article – Tracy submitted on behalf of VCKN November 4, 2010:


  1. b.      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:  Tracy to follow-up.


  1. c.       Saanich Aboriginal Food & Feast Event – The Victoria Community Kitchens Network was represented at this event on October 28, 2010 from 2-5 PM.  Thanks Allison for volunteering your time to be at this event!  Allison had some great suggestions for ways to change our 3-fold display to explain the network, provide more accurate and interesting info.  ACTION:  Tracy to work with volunteer to change/ update 3-fold display. 


  1. d.      Other Ideas/ Opportunities?  Group talked about the “Soup of Hope” fundraiser that the Empress runs every year (potters make bowls that are auctioned off).  Can we do something similar to raise money for community kitchens in the region? 


  1. Housekeeping
  1. a.       Letterhead Options Group decided that we would use what we have (woodcut from Theresa’s Friend & letterhead design from Catriona).  ACTION:  Tracy to put the VIHA contact info on the bottom of the letterhead and “finalize.” 


  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:  Tracy to follow-up with Jennifer re: offering a mock session.  


  1. c.       Updated Contact Lists: See attached



  1. Next Meeting – January 26, 10 AM – 12 PM @ James Bay Community Project.     
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s