Cooking out of the Box

COVID-19 Update: Our Organization continues to closely monitor the evolving situation related to COVID-19. We have adapted our programs to meet the current social distancing and health and safety guidelines provided by the Government.

Because of this, we have canceled all of our in-person community kitchen workshops and have moved our workshops online. We are also offering Healthy Meal Kits for low-income families and individuals that can be cooked at home. The meal kits are free for participants and focus on quick, healthy, and affordable meals. We are offering this program in partnership with the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. If you would like to learn more about how to access our Healthy Meal Kit program please email us at

The Cooking out of the Box program 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,


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

The Tillicum Lelum location is in conjunction with the Building Better Babies program. Parents prepare a meal to take home. "My spirit feel happier" said a mom who cooked with other young moms and became more connected to her community. "This is like Christmas once a month".  Said by a senior who takes home extra produce and food.  

Sessions are free but limited in space. Please phone Heidi at 250-753-7470 for more information, or email: