North Toronto food bank teaches kids to cook in classroom kitchen
North York Harvest Food Bank teaching healthy alternatives to processed food
A food bank in north Toronto is not only helping to feed children, but also teaching them how to cook a delicious meal of their own at home.
The North York Harvest Food Bank, located at the Oriole Community Centre at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue, has a giant classroom kitchen and today they're making meat balls to enjoy.
"It's fun to make food," said one girl. "You get to taste food every day but not make it."
Clare Giovannetti is a community health worker who teaches the Kid's in the Kitchen after school cooking class.
"After school they are hungry and this is a chance to get something healthy in their belly," said Giovannetti, noting that cooking their own food gives them an alternative to eating processed fast food.
"If they make it they are more likely to try it so it's a good way to get them to eat their veggies," she said.
North York Harvest's goal is to go beyond the role of a traditional food, said manager of community engagement Daniel Liadsky.
"We want to get kids involved in cook at an early age because it sets up a healthy relationship with food at an early age," Liadsky said.
The food bank also has classes for single men, newcomers and families on how to make healthy meals on a limited budget.
It's supported in part by donations received through CBC's annual Sounds of the Season fundraiser which this year helped raise over $335,000 and 5,800 pounds of food.