“I absolutely enjoyed myself. I think the ‘Kitchen Jam’ is a fantastic program for youth – cooking, social skills, in a new environment.” – Cooking Towards Independence Project participant.
The Cooking Towards Independence Project was established to improve the lives of young people leaving care across Canada by funding cooking skills and nutrition workshops, as well as access to healthy food options. Often, youth from care have not been adequately educated or exposed to basic culinary and nutrition knowledge, and are left without these skills upon their transition to independent living. This can create numerous challenges in not only managing a healthy lifestyle, but also in managing a limited budget. By supporting young people through skill-building workshops, we can help ease their transition from care, and assist them in building a stable future.
Partners for Youth, one of our partner organizations based in Fredericton, NB, has utilized funds from the Foundation to run the Cooking Towards Independence Project to serve youth facing various challenges in their lives. With this support, young people can gain confidence by increasing their capabilities, and also connect with their community.
In the 2015-2016 year, the Children’s Aid Foundation supported four cooking workshops and 32 youth participants in New Brunswick, through Partners for Youth. Aptly-dubbed the “Kitchen Jam”, a framework was quickly created with youth feedback that included skills development, menu planning, budgeting, and overall nutrition.