Food that works podcast
Food That Works podcast transcript
Sherry Lalonde: Recently I spoke with Lynda Franc, director of programs and services at Operation Come Home about their social enterprises’ FarmWorks and FoodWorks.
Lynda Franc: “So FarmWorks is a seasonal program, where for the summer months we have youth working on the farms in Blackburn Hamlet in partnership with Just Food. So we, we are giving four to six youth an opportunity to develop their agricultural skills which is something that we just don’t have many opportunities for anymore, right? So, when they first told me about this program, I was a little bit skeptical because we have kids who have trouble getting here for eight in the morning. But for me it was amazing because these kids got so invested in the program to the point where in the afternoon, there’s this one guy who would show up and he’d show me the different vegetables he brought in every day. You know, it’s something they created. So with that program we develop certified organic heirloom vegetables and then we sell them in CSA shares. So we get people to sign up at the beginning of the year and then they get a weekly or bi-weekly share depending on what they prefer. So ya, that’s been running for, I want to say, we’re going on our fourth year now. So that’s FarmWorks, that’s the older of the two. FoodWorks was just launched, probably, close to two years ago now and what we did was we partnered with Causeway Work Centre. They have a commercial kitchen and of course that’s very essential when you’re preparing food for sale. It’s in the, you know Hintonburg area and what we do is we deliver the meals within a five kilometre radius. So FoodWorks brings it, so they deliver Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Delicious meals for eight dollars. You get the main dish and then you get two side dishes and desert. So it’s quiet filling and the chef we have also works at Fraser Café, so he knows his stuff! Not only in how to prepare recipes for a cost-efficient price but good recipes and good meals. In addition to that, the whole idea is to teach youth kitchen skills so when they get into a kitchen they’re not just a dish washer. They can build up. So this chef, he’s got the skills to teach them how to flip things on a pan, and how to butcher a chicken and the participants who are involved in this program are some of the highest needs clients that we have but they’re just passionate about learning and they get paid for it so you know that now they’ll have a skill that they’ll be able to apply in the future and they’re getting money as they go along.”
Sherry Lalonde: “Mike tells us about his experience working at FoodWorks.”
Mike: “To be honest, I didn’t really know that much before I started but I’m learning a lot. I’m learning how to cut the vegetables properly and learning proper cutting techniques. The hardest things is just remembering the names of what we cook sometimes. And I really like Mitchel because he gives me experience because that’s a high end café that he works at. I feel like he teaches me a lot, like really well. You know it helps people that may not be able to cook their meals and at the same time it’s helping people that are trying to get their lives back together.”