Meeting Minutes September 2010

Victoria Community Kitchens Network (VCKN)


Monday, September 20, 2010; 10 AM – 12 PM

James Bay Community Project, 547 Michigan Street, Victoria


Regrets:  Fiona Devereaux, Theresa Bennett, John Taylor

  1. Personal Check-in, Information Sharing & Networking
    1. Catriona Campbell (JBCP):  Working with Dorthy (volunteer) on a program called “Frugal Bites.”  The hosted a very successful Food Skills for Families program in the spring 2010, and would like to host another.  Unfortunately, the September-December 2010 slots are filled and the next program does not run until Jan 2011.  Catriona mentioned that she heard the Canadian Diabetes Association is “selling out” the Food Skills for Families program at $1200.  This means that you can purchase the program and use for your own use, with your own facilitators at any time.  Catriona also mentioned that the JBCP received a composter from the Lifecycles Project’s “Rags to Riches” contest.  Finally, Catriona is very interested in making more links to the JBCP Youth Clinic.  Many young moms frequent this program, and they could benefit from hot meals and food skills. 
    2. Margaret Ash:  retired volunteer, who is very interested in community kitchens.  She is “obsessed about food and hunger,” and has taken a food safe course in the past.  Welcome Margaret!
    3. Allison Power: Trained Food Skills for Families Facilitator, who is currently running several FSFF programs, including on Pender Island (September – January).  Also, she is assisting Blanshard Community Center to complete their final FSFF class – Great Job!  Allison has recently partnered with BC Housing Corporation to run several community kitchens in their on-site kitchens with residents of the housing units.  In addition, Allison will be running a FSFF at the Blanshard Community Center in partnership with BC Housing (BC Housing will pay for program, and will teach 10 BC housing members and 2 Blanshard Community members).  Allison also announced that Crystal Pool is working with CanWest University to host cooking classes. 
    4.  Diane Andiel:  Saanich Community Services Programmer, working with Sanaich Neighbourhood Place to host Food Skills for Families (September – December 2010).  Brianna (Retuning from Mat leave) will be the FSFF facilitator at SNP, and they have already signed up the full complement of participants for the class.  Diane is also working on a “Saanich Obesity Outreach Program” that will include a community kitchen aspect (veggie prep, etc.).  Julie (Saanich Community Services Programmer) is developing relationships with BC Housing in the Saanich Region. 
    5. Dorthy:  Volunteer at JBCP who has been working on the “Frugal Bites” workshop.  She also mentioned a great cookbook by Mary Spillsbury Ross entitled “Frugal Feasts.”  She highly recommended this cookbook, particularly for low cost, high nutrition batch cooking. 
  2. “Cooking out of the Box”
  1. a.       Hellman’s Grant submitted June 2010
  2. b.      GFB Fall Questionnaire – survey current GFB participants to ask if they would be interested in the “Cooking out of the Box” Program (Tracy to send Sushil EM)


  1. Letter of Support to Fernwood NRG
    1. Tracy to follow up with Jennifer Freeman to ask if they still need the letter of support.
  2. CR-FAIR Food Access, Distribution & Recovery:  Tracy reported that she will be the chair of this Steering Committee, and that their first meeting will be held on October 4th.  This group is meeting to develop a tool for increasing communication amongst the 39 community agencies in Greater Victoria that distribute emergency food.  Tracy will report on the progress to date at the next meeting. 
  3. Soup Sisters (  Diane Andiel talked about this new initiative that she has come across.  “Soup Sisters is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort to women, children and youth through the making, sharing and donating of soup.  Founded in March 2009 by Calgarian Sharon Hapton, Soup Sisters support women’s shelters across the country with the very simple and heartfelt gesture of providing homemade soup.   Soup Sisters is a year-round program where participants pay a $45 fee to receive training from respected Chefs, the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art professional kitchens, an enjoyable dinner paired with a complimentary selection of wine, and most importantly the sense of gratification that comes from helping others. Approximately 150-200 servings of soup are prepared and donated during each session.  Our monthly events operate at a break even and as we meet the demands to provide homemade soup across the country, our rapid growth requires donations. Your contribution is a valuable investment in our communities that generates tangible action through real results.   It is our intention to branch out across the country with a simple formula for growth and sustainability. Please forward inquiries for launching Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers in other cities to
    1. The group was very keen on the idea, and thought that Jan/Feb 2011 would be a good time to hold an event in Victoria.  Group thought that we could pair up 8 chefs with community centers (i.e. Heidi Fink & JBCP) to have “1000 people cooking tonight in Victoria.”  Diane also was interested in having a “test run” at the French Mint with her friend with a donation to Our Place in Sept-December 2010.  Diane Andiel will email the organizer about starting “Soup Sisters” in Victoria. 
  1. Canning Info & Discussion – There are several ongoing Fall canning workshops.  Tracy sent out an email re: workshops a few weeks ago.  If anyone knows of other workshops, please send along for wide distribution.
  1. Sponsorships/ “Adopt a Community Kitchen” Program  (on hold @ SNP)
  1. Community Kitchen Funding Opportunities (All)
  1. a.       COMMUNITY ACTION INITATIVE (Funding Opportunities Fall 2010 information:  Convening Grants: LOI Deadline October 1, 2010.  These grants are intended to support community collaboration and planning, leading to the development of proposals which may be submitted to the service innovation RFP.

                                                        i.            Group thought that this may be a good fit with the BC Housing Corporation.  Allison is trying to find ways to engage Banfield (BC Housing site), and Diane will follow up with Jodi Sturge re: opportunities to apply for this grant. 

  1. b.      TD FINANCIAL LITERACY GRANT (work with Cowichan Community Kitchens to implement budgeting/ community kitchen program in Greater Victoria?)

                                                        i.            Catriona thinks that JBCP may have applied for this grant.  Catriona to check. 

  1. NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROGRAM – CAPITAL ASSISTANCE FUNDING  (The New Horizons for Seniors Program is accepting applications for its Capital Assistance funding from August 30th until October 8, 2010.  Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations that have been delivering community programs and activities for seniors for the last two (2) years.  Capital Assistance provides grant funding of up to $25,000 to non-profit organizations for upgrading community facilities and equipment related to existing programs and activities for seniors. Details about the Program, including how to apply are available on the Web site:

                                                        i.            Did not discuss.

  1. VANCITY’S ENVIROFUNDT GRANT (Letter of Intent Deadline: October 1, 2010)  Vancity’s enviroFund grant is accepting project applications addressing Sustainable Agriculture.   Vancity website  Funding ranges from $25,000 to $50,000.

                                                        i.            Group decided that we would form a small subcommittee to draft the LOI.  Tracy and Catriona agreed to be on the subcommittee.    

                                                      ii.            Group agreed that VanCity would be a good funder as Daniella Parks seems interested in Community Kitchens (She attended the CR-FAIR workshop re: VCKN in spring, 2010).  We will look for VanCity funding now and in future. 


  1. Community Kitchen Promotion/ Outreach (All)
  1. a.       Ben Ziegler’s article (blog: re: Community Kitchens at Saanich Neighbourhood Place.   Check it out! 
  2. b.      Maintain & Update VCKN Facebook site – Theresa/ Bekah (Tracy to Follow-up). 

                                                        i.            Group talked about putting meeting minutes on Facebook, as well as linking with the Fresh Choice Kitchens facebook site.  

  1. c.       “Hands-on Cooking & Skill Building Opportunities within Greater Victoria” – Community Council (Tracy & Crystal Edey) – Info sent to Fresh Choice Kitchens (July 2010)


  1. Housekeeping
  1. a.       Letterhead Options Allison and Catriona were very excited about having a VCKN Logo/ Picture contest!  Allison and Catriona to chat about the possibility of having a contest to get a logo for the Victoria Community Kitchens Network.  The group thought this was a good idea, and would be more of a promotional/ advertising thing than something that the group really needs at this point.   Tracy to talk to Allison about putting this “Contest” on the facebook site. 
  2. 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.   
  3. c.       Community Kitchen Support Materials (Contract/ Kitchen Use agreement – John Taylor; “Kitchen Competence” materials  – Catriona Campbell)


  1. Next Meeting – Group decided that the next general meeting will be 2-months – November 24 from 10 AM – 12 PM.  These meetings will be open to everyone.  More frequent working group meetings will take place on a more frequent basis, and will be made up of a subset of VCKN members. 
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