Country Kitchen gets renovation to expand services

Posted Apr 4, 2013 By Patricia Leboeuf

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 Country Kitchen is run by volunteers and appreciates the support of the community. It also accepts donations from local producers, grocers, and gardeners. For more information on the program, please visit kinburn.ca
Country Kitchen is run by volunteers and appreciates the support of the community. It also accepts donations from local producers, grocers, and gardeners. For more information on the program, please visit kinburn.ca
EMC news - With the help of donations and grants, including $10,000 from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, the West Carleton Country Kitchen is expanding its services by providing three new programmes.

All three programs are connected, weaving families, nutrition and activity into a tapestry of health.

Since 2008, the Country Kitchen has been providing people with the knowledge and opportunity to learn how more about healthy meal preparation, shopping for deals and how to stretch the budget while maintaining nutritious food choices.

The programs are tailored to teach local families the importance of healthy, nutritious meals.

"Building on that success we thought we might want to expend into other areas," said co-coordinator Eva Stewart-Bindernagel.

Families in the Country Kitchen is a seven session program starting on April 19. It focuses on both the improvement of physical health and the improvement of emotional and social health through healthy meal choices,

"That one is focusing on bringing families together to choose food, prepare food and eat food together," said Stewart-Bindernagel.

Each session will have a different theme and several guest speakers are scheduled to cover different topics such as food safety and how to plan ahead for meals. Many of the classes will involve kitchen prep so children will have to be over the age of eight in order to guarantee safety. They will also come with homework for the adults which the children will administer.

"We kind of want everybody to be involved," said Stewart-Bindernagel. "Ultimately we'd like to have some information and skills that people can use as a family from now on."

To help strength the link between healthy eating and physical activity, a short exercise session will be held at the beginning of each session.

The program is designed to be affordable for families with differing budgets and costs $18.

"We are also trying to promote it through the Food Bank as well," she said. "In that case there won't be a cost for the program because we want it to be accessible for everybody."

Once the snow melts, the Country Kitchen will organize the creation of a community garden. The St. James Anglican Church in Carp donated the land and resources for the project.

"We are going to focus on things that we can than use for other Country Kitchen programs," said Stewart-Bindernagel.

"Hopefully we can ultimately sell the produce, maybe sell some tomato sauce or salsa, and it will be a source of funding for the program itself and we can give some products to the Food Bank as well."

In autumn, the Sports, Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) program will be launched. It will focus on helping local sports associations with their nutritional needs.

At most tournaments, there is very little healthy food available for the players to consume.

Hockey teams, coaches and parents will be invited to a special evening to learn how physical activity and nutrition works together. A nutritionist will be invited to speak to them.

Children, parents and coaches will be invited to sign a healthy food contract so that they may have a plan in writing that they can share with their team to stick with during the season.

The hope is these programs will have a long effect impact on the community.

"We do want to have short term impact such as reaching individual families, but our hope it that the programs continue for many years," said Stewart-Bindernagel. "We are already looking at long-term funding and sustainability.