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Learning life skills, helping others and socializing top benefits of ‘community kitchen’

Participant Lorraine Chomechko highlights benefits of food-prep program
Wednesday April 6, 2011 — Deron Hamel

Lorraine Chomechko cites learning life skills, helping others and socializing with friends as her favourite aspects of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) outreach department’s “community kitchen” program, an initiative that provides people with experience preparing meals.

Upon reading a recent story highlighting the program’s success, Lorraine, who has attended the community kitchen every Monday for several months, contacted the BACI Blast to share the positive first-hand experiences she has gleaned.

Learning about food preparation, she says, has helped her identify strengths. For example, when it comes to hands-on work, Lorraine says she enjoys chopping vegetables that get used in recipes, such as soups, salads and sandwiches.

The program also provides opportunities for Lorraine to help others, which is also something she enjoys.

“I like helping others if they need it,” she tells the BACI Blast. “I enjoy interactions with people. I like the staff, (who) are good to me, (and) I like helping people.”

Sometimes, Lorraine takes recipes she learns in class home to prepare for herself, she adds.

Adding to the personal successes she says she’s reaping from the program, Lorraine notes she’s also making healthier choices in her diet.

“I eat healthy foods, which include yogurt, fruit and vegetables, and granola and juice boxes,” she says.

The community kitchen program sees a group of about 10 people who meet on Mondays and Wednesdays to learn the basics of cooking in a fun, interactive environment.

During programming the group will decide on a recipe to make, go through the steps to prepare the food and then serve the meal, which everyone eats together. There is always enough made so everyone has a meal to take home.

If you have a story you would like to share with the BACI Blast, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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