New monthly 'cook day' takes community fridge concept one step further

·2 min read
The food is prepared in a certified kitchen donated by Out of Africa. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
The food is prepared in a certified kitchen donated by Out of Africa. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

Charlottetown community groups hope a new food initiative can feed hungry bellies and inspire new ways to cook and prepare meals.

Once a month, volunteers with the P.E.I. Community Fridge and P.E.I. Food Exchange will get together to cook a dish made from food left in the community fridge on Valley Street.

The group is not just looking for donations of food, but donations of knowledge, as well. Anyone with chops in the kitchen, including people from diverse cultures, is encouraged to share their recipes and techniques.

"One of the other advantages that we see happening here is a greater awareness of diverse cultures, because everybody eats, and we hope to improve the food literacy of people who gather with us," said Pauline Howard, one of the organizers.

"Turkish people make a wonderful liver dish, for example, and Italian people make a wonderful tripe sandwich. So we're hoping that different cultures in the community come forward to offer their food skills to our group."

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

Sunday, the dish was carrot soup made from local ingredients and donated carrots that were too disfigured to sell, but fine to eat.

"I'm hoping to learn how to blend carrot soup without using an immersion blender, because I've been told that we can do it with big wooden spoons that have come from Kenya. And so I'm really excited to learn how that gets done."

The food is prepared in a certified kitchen, donated by local caterer Out of Africa.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

Anyone who wants to get involved or help prepare the meals can email thefoodexchangepei@gmail.com or call 902-916-8825.

For now, the group hopes to prepare meals every third third Sunday of the month from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sandra Sunil of 4Love4Care started the community fridge last year as a way combat food insecurity. Community members and companies donate the food, and anyone can access the fridge no questions asked. Sunil said it has been very popular, and is happy to see new ideas.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

"The goal all along with the community fridge is to have opportunities and have space available for members of the community to contribute and give back in the way that they can, whether it's skill or resources or even knowledge sharing. So it's great that we can put together a community cook day every month."

Sunil said she'd be willing to consult with anyone wanting to start a community fridge in their area. Plans are underway for one in the West River community, she said.