About Cooking Club

“Chat and Chew” food club is a free program that runs throughout the school year at Strathcona Community Centre. It is offered to the students aged 9-12 of Lord Strathcona Elementary School. LSES is a unique school, located in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, tucked away in a little pocket of Strathcona. Many families and children of Strathcona Elementary experience immense food insecurity, and require subsidies for school fees and community centre activities. With the DTES being one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada and previously affordable neighbourhoods such as Strathcona being increasingly gentrified, “Chat and Chew” club is a program that encourages food-positive activities to provide the children the experience working with recipes that they might not get an opportunity to work with at home. The community centre runs this program twice a week throughout the school year, and takes place from 12-1 during the children’s lunch break. Strathcona Community Centre and Strathcona Elementary School are located on the same grounds, which gives the students flexibility to run over on their lunch breaks.

I will be blogging weekly about the recipes and activities that the children complete, and provide pictures and reviews of their culinary creations! While I’m no master chef, I love working with kids and my goal within this program is the give these kids the means to work independently and become familiar with different foods that they may have never tried before and basic cooking techniques for the future! 🙂

Food insecurity can be measured on a continuum from
1) feeling anxious about lack of food,
2) compromising on the quality of the foods by choosing less expensive options
3) feelings of hunger and
4) not eating at all.

-Vancouver (BC). Social Planning Department, & Barbolet, H. (2005). Vancouver food system assessment. City of Vancouver, Social Planning Department.