Collective Kitchen Program Helps Stretch Food Budgets and Fight Food Insecurity

Edmonton Temple - Collective Kitchen program
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The Salvation Army in Edmonton is helping people that rely on the food bank stretch their grocery budgets, and learn some new kitchen skills.

This past February, The Salvation Army Edmonton Temple began a Collective Kitchen program where once a week a small group of people get together to create three homemade meals. They each get to take home about six portions for $3 or less, depending on the recipes and that week’s food budget.

The Community Ministries Coordinator, Maddison Case, came up with the idea after finding out people in that area were looking for such a program. After some kitchen renovations last year and a partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS), the program began in February.

Seeing how the most recent statistics from show 8.3% of Canadian households (2011-2012) experienced food insecurity, this kind of program is promoted by the Food Bank as one of the best ways to stretch grocery budgets, and it has been very successful.

“It’s not just about cooking,” says Maddison. “It’s about meeting new people, learning new recipes, trying new foods they aren’t used to or can’t get from the food bank.”

Supriya from AHS helps by teaching food safety, and choosing recipes that are easy to learn and healthy to make. Everyone helps out cleaning, organizing, and cooking throughout the evening as the meals are completed.

“It also helps me get out of the house,” says one participant, Chylo. “I live alone and am on AISH, so this helps me with meals and face my agoraphobia too.”

Another participant enjoys and appreciates learning new recipes, as she “doesn’t really cook that well.”

This program is relatively new, but is looking to grow. They are in need of some new equipment and supplies, such as a blender, food processor, mixer, food containers, and some full-bib aprons. If you can help this program reach its full potential, please contact Maddison at or at 780-469-6846.