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New Website and Blog

Visit our new web and blog at:

This current site, will no longer be updated. Please update your bookmarks, favorites and rss feeds. Thank you.

Changes to Fresh Choice Kitchens

June 11, 2013

Come and visit Fresh Choice Kitchen’s new website and blog at!

You may have noticed in our recent posts that we have been prepping for the launch of a new website, and after months in development we are happy to announce that it’s finally here!

Our old WordPress blog will no longer be updated. If you previously had listed in your bookmarks or favourites, please update them with the new website address ( 

We truly hope you enjoy exploring our new website. We will continue to make improvements in the months ahead and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Please feel free to contact us and let us know what you think!

Annual Gathering of the BC Food Systems Network

May 21, 2013

Date:  July 5 – 7, 2013

Registration:  Registration rates will be $295 for early bird registration (till June 1) and $325 thereafter. This rate includes conference registration, accommodation and all meals. The children and youth rates are $65 and $125 respectively and will provide a full day program for the kids at no extra charge. Kids under 5 will be welcomed free of charge. Registration rates include workshops, accommodation, meals and childcare.

Location: George Pringle Memorial Camp 2520 West Shawnigan Lake Rd. , Shawnigan Lake , BC

This year’s Gathering is taking place at Camp Pringle at Shawnigan Lake. The Network respectfully acknowledges that Shawnigan Lake is situated on Indigenous Land belonging to the Coast Salish people, including the Cowichan Tribes and the Malahat First Nation.

Standard accommodations are 12 bed cabins, although there are also some rooms in the lodge with 2 beds per room. In order to reserve one of these rooms, please choose the “private” or “semi-private” accommodation type. Extra charges will apply. There is ample space available for camping if you prefer. There are also a limited number of rooms set aside for families, for elders and others with limited mobility. Please contact the Gathering Coordinator to discuss your needs.

One of the goals of the Gathering is inclusiveness, meaning subsidized spaces can be made available as finances allow. Please help others attend by submitting your registration fees as early as possible. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact Diane Elliott-Buckley, Gathering Coordinator to discuss options. Diane can be reached at or at 604-879-6659.

For more information or to register, visit:

Community Kitchen Leadership Workshop

May 10, 2013

During this workshop you will have the opportunity to find out more about community kitchens, different ways a group can work and how you can lead or start a community kitchen.  Learn the history of the community kitchen movement and the effect it has had around the province. Hear about the different kitchen models that run successfully in our communities. Experience a community kitchen first hand! Lunch will be provided.

Date/Time: Thurs, June 6, 2013, 9:00 am –3:00 pm  (view poster)

Location: Vancouver Food Bank, 1150 Raymur Ave.

Cost:  $45.00 (lunch provided).

To register: Contact Darlene Tanaka, at 604-216-2325 or or please complete & send in the Community Kitchen Registration form in Word or in Adobe

Please note: Registration is limited to 15 per class.  Payment required upon registration.  Register at least at least 3 days before the workshop to secure your spot. Cancellations must be done at the latest, 72 hours before. No refunds for no-shows.  The workshop may be rescheduled if registration numbers are not met.

Fresh Choice Kitchens does workshops in Vernon

April 27, 2013

In April we were in Vernon to run our Community Kitchen Workshop to 15 eager participants from the Okanagan-Shuswap area (see photos).    We also ran a 2 day Train-the-Trainer Canning Workshop (see photos)  in which 10 participants learned about current safe canning practices and ways to teach them. Our fun and eager participants each also had the opportunity to have hands-on experience in teaching the group what they learned. We covered both boiling water bath canning and pressure canning in the 2 days.

Both workshops were held in the fabulous kitchen of Trinity United Church.  Thanks to the donation of fresh produce from Chronos Fresh Foods, in our Community Kitchen workshop we made Tofu Meatballs, Tzatziki, Greek Salad, Quinoa Salad and Rhubarb Gingersnap Crumble, and in our Train-the Trainer workshop, we canned red pepper garlic jelly, rhubarb jam and herbed tomatoes and celery.

Many thanks go to Minda Chittenden from Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting, who helped us organize the workshop and who also successfully obtained funding from United Way of North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap, Valley First Credit Union and Rotary International (Kalmalka Rotary Dream Auction). It was great to have Linda Yule, Executive Director of the United Way as an active participant in the canning workshop.

Special thanks as well to Bernardin Ltd. for their support and sponsorship.


Fourth Annual Hands-on Cook-off Contest

April 27, 2013

Better Together invites you and your family to Cooking + Fun + Family at their 4th Annual Hands-On Cook-Off Contest! Win up to $1500 in prizes

How: Make a 3-minute video with a child, grandchild, neighbour, niece, nephew, or friend that shows how to cook a favourite recipe (breakfast, BBQ, pizza, salad, dinner, snack, dessert, anything – you decide).

What: You could win prizes worth up to $1,500. Cash alternatives available.

When: May 1 – June 2, 2013

Where: Enter your video online & view contest rules at

For additional information – see their recent blog post  and promo video.  Help promote the event with their poster.

Better Together offers a community for families to find tips, easy recipes, nutrition, and more. Find them at

New research article about community kitchens, community gardens and Good Food boxes

April 27, 2013

The Canadian Journal of Public Health recently published an article which researched the usage of food programs such as community kitchens, community gardens and Good Food boxes by low income families in Toronto.

Here is the summary of the article.

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2013 Jan 8;104(1):e55-9.

Perspectives on Community Gardens, Community Kitchens and the Good Food Box Program in a Community-based Sample of Low-income Families.

Loopstra R, Tarasuk V.

University of Toronto.

OBJECTIVE: Growing recognition of the problem of household food insecurity in Canada has meant public health practitioners are looking for effective ways to ameliorate this problem in their communities. Community gardens, community kitchens, and food box programs can offer nutritious foods for comparably lower costs, however, the uptake and perceptions of these programs in populations at risk of food insecurity have not been evaluated. Building on a previous finding of low program participation among 485 families living in high-poverty neighbourhoods in Toronto, the objective of this study was to understand reasons for non-participation.

METHODS: One year after the baseline study, 371 families were interviewed a second time and were asked to provide their reasons for not participating in community gardens, community kitchens, or the Good Food Box program. Responses were analyzed by inductive content analysis.

RESULTS: At follow-up, only 12 families had participated in a community garden, 16 in a community kitchen, and 4 in the Good Food Box program. Reasons for non-participation grouped under two themes. First, families expressed that programs were not accessible because they lacked the knowledge of how or where to participate or because programs were not in their neighbourhoods. Second, programs lacked fit for families, as they were not suited to busy schedules, interests, or needs.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides unique perspective on participation in community food programs among food-insecure families and suggests that these programs may not be effective options for these families to improve their food access.

Quantity Cooking

April 27, 2013

Community Kitchens cook a large amount of food, so it will save you time from calculating how much you need to increase of ingredients by, when there is a cookbook that provides recipes for large groups.

In addition to our Many Hands Cookbook <LINK>,  we find this book is also a great resource when making foods in large quantities.

Tips and Recipes for Quantity Cooking: Nourishing Minds and Bodies.  <LINK to target=”_blank” > Dietitians of Canada. 2009.  96 pp

This book was created to assist people who prepare food for sale to student (e.g. food services staff, chef instructors, caterers), but it could be used for community kitchens. It includes tips for choosing recipes, making substitutions and recipes.

Do you know of any cookbook or website that scales recipes for large groups?   Send us a comment and share it with the rest of the community!