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Cultural Kitchen reopens at food bank

As a community organization we feel that, after two-and-a-half years of disruption, we are turning a corner into our new normal.

As a community organization we feel that, after two-and-a-half years of disruption, we are turning a corner into our new normal. But what does that even mean? A definition of new normal is “a current situation that is different from what has been experienced or done before but is expected to become usual or typical.”

A situation that is different from before, our new normal has evolved from the pandemic which disrupted every facet of our lives.  At the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village, we chose to embrace this disruption and use it as an opportunity to pause and reset. We had time to review the programs and services we offered, look at opportunities to grow and evolve certain programs, and, when there was no longer an apparent need, retire some programs.

We are excited to announce the re re-opening of our Cultural Kitchen.  This program has long been a favourite for us, and we missed our opportunities to connect. We consider ourselves so fortunate to be able to meet folks from so many different countries and enjoy their outstanding culinary offerings. In the past month we have had two great cultural kitchen evenings where we were treated to food from Italy and Mexico. We witnessed new and old friendships ignite and we were back in our happy place. For now, we are planning on a kitchen once per month but are ready to have more often if requested.

We are actively developing two new kitchen programs – Collective and Community. The Collective Kitchen is a program where folks pay a nominal fee towards a bulk purchase of products and then cook a number of meals which they can take home. The Community Kitchen is a program where a volunteer will help folks learn to cook healthy meals on a budget and hopefully these programs will help folks through these challenging times,

We have been re-visioning our Home Share Program and getting ready to launch. We have talked about this before and feel the time is finally right for folks who may have been feeling uncomfortable in bringing someone into their home during the pandemic may be more at ease now.  Simple household chores such as dog walking, snow shovelling, lawn care and the like can be bartered for a reduced rent. We are seeing folks struggle with increases in rent and their wages not being ample enough to cover their expenses. We have seen folks become very isolated during the pandemic and Home Share has the potential to address these concerns.

 The St. Albert Food Bank is seeing an increasingly high demand for service and one of the challenges that brings folks in is the high cost of just about everything and their income not being able to sustain them. We have some real champions in this city when it comes to increasing the inventory of more affordable spaces for folks, and we are all working together in order to find sustainable solutions to the housing issues and feel the Home Share program will fit the bill. If you would like more information please contact us.

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