Our Programs

Community Kitchen Cooking Groups

A community kitchen is a group of participants who meet regularly to cook meals to feed themselves and their families. Everyone shares in the recipe selection, cooking and clean-up. You pay for the portion of food you take home. Each group decides how they will operate. Some groups meet to prepare a shared meal, others take home the meals they create.

New groups may be formed as the need arises. We can help you start your own group.

Ongoing Groups

Multicultural Group:  Happy Chefs meets one Thursday each month at the Foodshare Center, 271 Pine St. 

Supportive Apartment Living Group meets one Thursday each month from 5-7pm at the Foodshare Center, 271 Pine St.

Cooking with Friends meets the second Monday of each month at Hope Lutheran Church.

Seniors 80-20 meets one Friday each month at the Foodshare Center

Sizzling Sisters a newly formed group of women that regularly meet through the Harewood Community Church.  Not currently meeting.

Please note:  the Princess Royal Family Center has moved to 80 Chapel Street.  


Cooking Out of the Box 

Cooking out of the Box uses a monthly Good Food Box of fruits and vegetables as the foundation of a nutritious cooking session for low income individuals.
The program is free to participants and encourages the use of fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. At each 2 hour session, 3 to 4 recipes are prepared using the contents of the Good Food Box, which varies from month to month. The Community Kitchens facilitator chooses the recipes, purchases a Good Food Box for each location and the extra food needed to prepare the recipes. The sessions end with a shared meal, group discussion and clean up. Participants receive copies of the recipes and extra food is divided among the clients to take home.

The Tillicum Lelum location is in conjunction with the Building Better Babies program. Parents prepare a meal to take home.  
Thanks to funding from the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, we offer the program at three locations.

  • Foodshare Center, 271 Pine Street
  • Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society, 153 Wallace Street
  •   (Women's Center participants are welcome to attend)
  • Tillicum Lelum, 602 Haliburton
"My spirit feel happier" said a mom who cooked with other young moms and became more connected to her community. 
"This changes everything" said a woman with a brain injury after making apple crisp in the microwave and seeing how easy it was to prepare.

Sessions are free but limited in space. Please phone Anita at 753-7470 for more information, or email: anita.nck@shaw.ca

We thank United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island for supporting this program. 

Bellies to Babies and Beyond

Bellies to Babies and Beyond is a 10 week program for pregnant women, first-time parents, and young families who are economically challenged. During the program participants will learn about:

  • nutrition, 
  • smart grocery shopping, 
  • how to read food labels, 
  • recipe reading, 
  • safety with knives, 
  • food safety practices,
  • community supports.

Participants are involved in the choice of recipes and take home servings of each recipe to feed their families. There is no cost to participants and child minding is available.

At the end of the program, participants will have a kitchen handbook with recipes and nutrition information.

The program runs at Princess Royal Family Center (80 Chapel St) on Monday mornings from 10:00 am--12:30 pm. This program is a partnership with Vancouver Island Health Authority and Nanaimo Community Kitchens. 

We are accepting registration for the program starting April 9, 2018.  Please use the attached registration form. 

Registration is required:   _B2B_Reg_info_April_2018.pdf


Or phone 250 753 7470

Participants say:
"Cooking is not so scary",
“I eat more vegetables",
"I am more confident when trying new recipes",
I make proper meals",
I look at labels for fat, salt and sugar".

We thank the First West Foundation Island Savings Community Endowment and Telus Community Grant for supporting this program.  

Healthy Eating for Newcomers 

Healthy Eating and Lifestyles for Newcomers to Canada:
The Central Vancouver Island Region has seen a large influx of Newcomers in the past year.  Many face food security challenges including barriers to culturally acceptable food, and language barriers.  This free program will offer hands-on cooking focusing on healthy food choices.  While cooking, clients receive support from each other and learn about other community programs.  Participants will have the opportunity to make new friends, study English, learn multicultural recipes and share ideas. Registration is required: 

You may already know how to cook, come share foods of your country.  


Tuesdays starting January 16th from noon--2:30pm. This final round of the program will focus on seniors.  

Princess Royal Family Center, 80 Chapel Street



Cooking With Seniors Connect 

A 6 week cooking program at Seniors Connect, 150-B Wallace St.

Come help make simple healthy meals to share. 

Fridays: not currently meeting, may resume in April

Registration is required through Seniors Connect

Food Skills for Families & Individuals

Food Skills for Families is a 6 week cooking and skill building program. Participants learn how to cook nutritious, delicious meals in a supportive group environment.  Program is free.  Childminding is not available. 

Not currently running

Session 1: Variety for Healthy Eating
Session 2: Fabulous Fruits, Vegetable and Whole Grain Goodness
Session 3: Meat and Alternatives, Milk and Alternatives and Healthy Fats
Session 4: Planning Healthy Meals, Snacks and Beverages
Session 5: Savvy Shopping (Grocery Store Tour)
Session 6: Celebration!

Participants say:

I have stopped eating at fast food places and started cooking simple meals for myself. When we prepare a recipe and I like it, I am then able to make it at home.

I loved the comraderie within the group and I am more open minded about my cooking abilities.

Sponsored by Canadian Diabetes Association and Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society