Through various community cooking programs, we create spaces where people can connect with each other and with healthy food. Community cooking provides an opportunity for people to develop cooking skills, build social safety networks and to increase their ability to access healthy food.
Once per month we host a shared community meal, serving upwards of 40 people, using ingredients from our garden. These suppers are prepared by community members for community members, and focus on a cultural theme, representing and celebrating the cultural diversity in our community.This is a program that brings people together in an inter-generational and cross-cultural context. This program provides access to food in a multifaceted way: by sharing collective meals, which involves meal preparation and learning about different traditional food ways, this program reduces social isolation and enhances community connections, while using healthy food as the focal point.
This is a new program for Hope Blooms, launched in the summer of 2012. The youth prepare organic baby food made from the vegetables grown in the garden, and the baby food is available to new mothers in the community. The youth gain valuable cooking skills and feel good about being able to give back to their community.
Another new program for Hope Blooms launched in the summer of 2012, our organic vegetable soups are made available to seniors in the community who may be experiencing difficulty accessing healthy food. From tomato bean to curried carrot and squash soups, this has become a very valuable service to the community, and a way for the youth to connect with other members of the neighborhood.