Stir It Up Youth Community Kitchen

Please note that after June 2017, Richmond Food Security Society is no longer running the Stir It Up Youth Community Kitchen program, nor accepting youth referrals.

 

For similar food literacy and cooking programs serving children and youth, please refer to the City of Richmond’s seasonal Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Guide.

 

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The Stir It Up Youth Community Kitchen was a food literacy and social support program initiated by passionate individuals of Vancouver Coastal Health and members of the Richmond community.

 

Hosted by Richmond Food Security Society (RFSS) for many years, Stir It Up served Richmond’s low-asset youth*, ages 13-21, by providing a safe and supportive environment to practice healthy food choices, access local food, and gain essential life skills in nourishing oneself through creative, adaptable, and budget-friendly meals.

 

Each session included cooking a delicious, healthy, home-style meal using fresh and local ingredients, communally enjoying a sit-down dinner, and taking left-overs home to have the next day or to share with family members. From 2014 – 2017, RFSS served 528 meals to 84 youth during 151 program sessions.

 

 

What Youth Said

 

“Stir It up is a place where everybody belongs and feels welcome”.

 

“Stir It Up for me is heaven – somewhere that helps teach leadership skills and makes a difference in my life.”

 

“Stir It Up made a change in my life because I leaned new things and made new friends. Its made a major impact on my life.”

 

“I’d like to say thank you for the support we need to keep the program running because it’s a very good thing for me and friends.”

 

“I’m planning to move out, next year, or maybe the year after that. These recipes would be really good for when I move on my own. I’ll have to cook for myself and I’ll know what to do then, since we’ve practiced at Stir It Up.”

 

“I’ve only been in Canada for three months, everything we’ve made so far has been new to me. The dishes we make are delicious – I share what I bring home with my mom. At home it’s just the two of us, so sometimes she doesn’t know what ingredients to buy and what to make for dinner. I help her cook; what I learn here and the recipes we get makes eating healthy easier” [translated from Mandarin Chinese].

 

“The program has helped me improve my self-esteem and confidence through learning new skills and meeting new friends”.

 

 

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*Low-asset youth: individuals who possess less than 10 of the 40 Developmental Assets for healthy adolescent development (Richmond Parks & Rec, 2008; Search Institute, 2016).