Community Kitchen Offers Ingredients for Success

Community Kitchen
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For nine years, Courtney, 28, couldn’t leave her house because of panic attacks. Social anxiety disorder and PTSD affected her well-being and quality of life. Today, a Salvation Army community kitchen is giving her a chance to heal, learn valuable information and live healthier.

“I’m meeting friends, learning about nutrition and health, and trying new recipes,” says Courtney. "I feel like a real human being here. Not a shut in.”

Located In Kingston, Ont., The Salvation Army’s Nourish Community Kitchen is a new resource available to all people, regardless of their socio-economic status, which aims to improve access to healthy and affordable food, reduce social isolation and strengthen food knowledge and skills.

“We help people understand the impact of food choices on health, encourage individuals to learn, build and sustain culinary skills,” says Maria Sadowy of The Salvation Army. “We discuss everything from food, exercise, medications and all things regarding health and well-being.”

“I had an abusive step-father,” says Courtney. “I was rarely allowed out and, when I was, he stalked me. I still look over my shoulder. Then, as an adult, I witnessed a violent attack on my husband.  As a result, I have a lot of anxiety, avoid people and any chance of danger.

“When I went to The Salvation Army’s food bank they told me about the cooking class. I was apprehensive, but I love cooking and gave it a try.  At the first class I had a panic attack, was sweating, trembling and nauseated. A  Salvation Army worker assured me that there was nothing to be afraid of and that I would be fine. And I was.   

“I look forward to coming to cooking class. Without this opportunity I wouldn’t be where I am today—outside of my house and talking to people. This is a huge step for me and I feel great about it. I’m not only improving my kitchen skills and learning how to eat healthier, I’m living again.”