Mar 10, 2023
A life-skill building program that feeds more than the soul
For a number of years now, daily life-skills programming at the Reigh Allen Centre has included basic nutrition, food handling and cooking skills that are showcased on Fridays. The youth work with HomeBridge’s Program Coordinator to plan a meal, prepare it and share it with everyone who works or resides there on what has affectionately become known as “Food Fridays”. The youth ask for a minimum $2 contribution from employees who enjoy the meal. This money is collected and donated to a charity of their choosing several times a year. Thanks to support from Children’s Aid Foundation of Nova Scotia, the program has also now expanded to include volunteer / employability skill shifts at Feed Nova Scotia, and the production of natural goods including personal hygiene products.
This culinary skill building program has been so popular that we recently started a pilot version in the other programs as well. Funded by Halifax Youth Foundation, this program invites the residents of our five long-term programs to explore their love of food. Supported by our Recreation Therapist and a member of the Reigh Allen Centre Kitchen Team, the youth from each program have two special nights where they plan and prepare a meal of their choosing. So far the young people have been very engaged in this opportunity. Both Jubien House and Hawthorne House were excited to master the art of grilling steaks while Greek pasta was on the menu at Johnson House. The program has only just begun, but the participants already seem as excited about planning and preparing the meal as they are about eating their creations.
We understand that the outcomes for youth-in-care aren’t always positive ones. For this reason, this is just one of the therapeutic, life-skill building programs we offer in an effort to prepare the youth for successful independent living. Thank you to the community partners that make these valuable programs possible.