Grow cook learn in a box

● We are creating a new program that incorporates the lessons learned in all of our past programming. This new program—“Grow Cook Learn: In a Box”—involves the distribution of tool kits containing information and activities that will promote food literacy in our community. The kit is a portable Rubbermaid bin that holds everything you need to learn more about basic food skills and the origins of your food, such as recipes, informational pamphlets, lesson plans, and more.

● The tool kits will be used to deliver fun and engaging workshops facilitated by Grow Cook Learn volunteers. The kits are designed to contain all necessary elements for the workshop so that the program could be delivered independently by community partners as well. Each kit will have a different theme such as “From the Garden to your Table” or “Eat Well and Save Money.” The Grow Cook Learn philosophy (see above) will be embedded in each workshop. Each bin will address the food literacy gaps that our society faces. For instance, how can you include more vegetables in your diet? We plan to answer this question and more with fun activities that have actionable learnings.

● One component of the program is to encourage participants to connect through social media to document the new skills and habits they are gaining. Building social connection through food is a way to strengthen community and support systems, and sharing stories can inspire others to also improve their well-being. A Grow Cook Learn volunteer will be at the forefront of every social media group, initiating conversations related to the program on topics such as food’s ecological footprint or food waste.

● To further our reach, we also plan to provide “virtual” kits that can be downloaded from our website. These do-it-yourself virtual kits will include easy instructions that will allow groups to hold their own food literacy workshops. We want to create a blueprint for others who are interested in establishing their own versions of our Grow Cook Learn programs.

● According to the City of London’s Urban Agriculture study, community members are very vocal about the need for urban agriculture strategies that promote well-being through food (you can find more information in the strategy paper on the city website). Our programs fill the need for Education and Connection as outlined in the strategy.

● A key focus will be on the community around the Westview community garden, but our program will not be limited to this area. The program can be used by anyone who accesses “Grow Cook Learn: In a Box” either by picking up the kit or downloading the online tool kit.

● We also plan to continue the “Sprouts” children’s gardening program and will offer this program to a new Westview audience.