People moving to a new country often face a period of adjustment with food. Ingredients readily available in their home country are often not easy to come by in their new country and many newcomers’ express nostalgia for the culinary experiences and the traditional ways in which food was prepared. Many community organizations have found that providing a platform for newcomers to share their recipes, and traditions with each other through Community Kitchen programs help forge a connection to their new communities.
Food is an easy and incredibly affective way to introduce an unfamiliar culture to a foreign audience. Over time the practice of sharing makes the new country more approachable. Sharing food with others and letting others share food with us can create an immediate connection. While cooking and eating, participants get to know each other and share the common experience of being a newcomer to Canada.
Hands on Cooking Classes
DIVERSEcity offers a Community Kitchen program for newcomers to Canada. They use hands-on cooking classes to teach new skills, visit grocery stores and learn about local community food supports for families on a low income. You can share food from your own culture, connect with new friends, practise English and join us in building a community through food. Contact the Community Kitchens Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Practice your English While Cooking
Family Services of Greater Vancouver Caring Neighbours program provides free groups and community kitchens in Richmond and New Westminster. In Richmond, you can join the Cooking and Language Support program to practice your English and learn to cook low-cost, healthy, and nutritious food. This program is offered Fridays, 10am to 12pm. Contact Joanne at email@example.com or Minoo Javadi at 778.885.5165 for details and to register.
Share Recipes and Ideas
The Burnaby Neighbourhood House Community Kitchen is a weekly program offered at Burnaby Neighbourhood House -South and Gilmore Community School that involves cooking, eating, and lots of great conversation and laughter. Families or individuals who have limited income join to prepare healthy meals to take home, and to have lunch together. They use everyone’s favourite family recipes and include many kid-friendly foods. Free childminding is available. Call Lynn at 604-431-0400 to learn more.
Share Family and Community Services has adults come together to share recipes and a meal, and to provide and/or access support. The Community Kitchen Recipe Sharing meets bi-weekly on Wednesday from 9:30 – 11:30 at Clarke St. Family Resource Centre. The group is participant-led. Call 604.936.3900 for more information. Location: 2615 Clarke St., Port Moody
Get the Kids Involved
The North Vancouver District Public Library offers a program just for kids: Young Chefs: Cooking the Books for Kids! Junior Chefs are invited to grab a cookbook, a spoon, an apron and join other aspiring Chefs on Zoom for 30minutes. Next up: It is Pizza Night! Your pizza can be traditional, sweet or unusual — a pizza face? Bring pencil and paper to participate in a Fun Food Facts Trivia. All ages are welcome! Registration required. Register online or call 604-929-3727, ext 8166. Sunday, November 28, 2021 – 4:00pm to 4:30pm.
At NewToBC, we have a list of programs and services throughout the Lower Mainland that can help newcomers settle into their new community. Additionally, many libraries throughout BC offer events and programs designed to help newcomers connect to their community. Many of these resources are free of charge. Be sure to share this wonderful resource.