DMHS’ New Winds Day Program runs a variety of social-recreational and skill-building groups for their members. One of the most successful of these groups has been a weekly Community Kitchen. Community Kitchen members enjoy sharing each other’s company while learning to prepare healthy meals on a budget, from salad to dessert.
The idea for the Community Kitchen emerged out of discussions about ways that New Winds could creatively respond to the needs of DMHS clients. One need that arose was that clients living in the community wanted to learn or brush up on their cooking skills. In response, the weekly Community Kitchen group was formed in spring 2016.
Group members work together to choose the menu for the week and are involved in every aspect of food preparation and cooking. By hosting the Kitchen group on Fridays, members are able to take home a meal for the weekend – often enough food for two meals!
The food for Community Kitchen events is generously provided by Feed the Need Durham. As a result, clients can take home their nutritious, home-cooked meals at no cost to themselves.
DMHS Peer Support Specialist and New Winds Facilitator Lynn Moulds comments, “I think it’s amazing – and heartwarming – seeing clients work together bringing recipes from home – sometimes favorite family recipes – or looking through recipe books together during social time and coming up with an elaborate meal. It’s great to see the BBQ being used even in the colder weather! It’s great to see everyone working closely together from choosing the menu all the way to ensuring all the dishes are done.”
Group members report satisfaction with both the skill-building and the social interactions provided by the group. Damon mentions, “The Community Kitchen allows me to experiment cooking different meals with a group of my peers that I would not necessarily try on my own.” Jennefer comments, “We work together as a group and I get to learn new recipes.” Jacob says, “We make great food and I’ve met a lot of nice people and I learn new cooking skills every time I go.”
Group member William mentions a goal of the group – “We are hoping to put together a cookbook of our favorite recipes.”
To see photos of the Community Kitchen in action, please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/126191794@N04/albums/72157675207539340.
To learn more about the Community Kitchen or to refer an individual who could benefit, please contact Lynn Moulds at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-666-0831, ext. 3294.