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Cooking from the bottom-up: an exploration into the use of Vancouver's community kitchens as an empowerment… Chung, Carrie Lee 1998

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Cooking from the Bottom-Up An Exploration into the Use of Vancouver's Community Kitchens as an Empowerment Tool by CARRIE LEE CHUNG B . A . , M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1996 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I NP A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OFGRADUATE  STUDIES  ( S c h o o l o f C o m m u n i t y and R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g )  W e accept this thesis as c o n f o r m i n g to the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  O c t o b e r 1998 © C a r r i e L e e C h u n g , 1998  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of  University  of  British  Columbia,  I agree  available for  copying  of  department publication  this or  reference  thesis by  of this  for  his  and  I further  scholarly purposes  or  thesis  study.  for  her  requirements that the  agree  may  be  It  is  representatives.  financial  the  gain shall  not  be  that  The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date r ^ * » V ^ ^ „ ,  DE-6 (2/88)  ^V-^~~ri^Z*- » W V n  Columbia  \°Plr\  an  Library shall  by the  make it extensive  head  understood  that  allowed  without  ' " P W ^ ^ ^  advanced  permission for  granted  permission.  Department of r v . .  for  of  my  copying  or  my written  Abstract  T h e purpose o f this thesis w a s to e x p l o r e the effectiveness o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l . T h i s thesis observes the w a y s i n w h i c h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r their participants, h o w they are b e i n g u s e d to foster c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d the opportunities a n d constraints i n u s i n g c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l . T h e research questions are addressed i n a variety o f w a y s . F i r s t , a c o m p r e h e n s i v e literature r e v i e w w a s u n d e r t a k e n to define the m e a n i n g o f e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t as u s e d b y t h i s thesis. S e c o n d l y , a m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h i n v o l v i n g participant o b s e r v a t i o n , k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s a n d a survey w a s c o n d u c t e d to e x a m i n e these questions. A total o f s e v e n c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s w e r e i n v o l v e d i n the case studies. T h e research suggests that c o m m u n i t y kitchens d o e m p o w e r participants but at a n i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . P a r t i c i p a n t s learn s k i l l s s u c h as c o o p e r a t i o n , c o o k i n g a n d s o c i a l i s a t i o n , a n d are e m p o w e r e d t h r o u g h self-help a n d b y g a i n i n g c o n f i d e n c e a n d self-esteem.  A t a community level,  efforts have been m a d e to e m p o w e r the c o m m u n i t y a n d contribute to c o m m u n i t y b u i l d i n g processes but w i t h l i m i t e d output. I n some c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t i n i t i a t i v e s ( s u c h as v o l u n t e e r i n g to c o o k for a larger c o m m u n i t y ) are i n p l a c e but c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a w h o l e has a m i n i m a l effect i n creating c o m m u n i t y . C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , h o w e v e r , are effective at e m p o w e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s w h i c h is c o n s i d e r e d the first step to c o m m u n i t y empowerment.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  L i s t o f Tables  v  List o f Figures  vi  Acknowledgements  vii  CHAPTER I  Structure a n d C o m p o n e n t s 1.0  Introduction  1  1.1  R e s e a r c h Purpose  1  1.2  P r o b l e m Statement  2  1.3  Research Questions  2  1.4  A p p r o a c h and M e t h o d o l o g y  2  1.4.1  M u l t i p l e Case Study A p p r o a c h  3  1.4.2  Participant O b s e r v a t i o n  5  1.4.3  K e y Informant Interviews  6  1.4.4  Questionnaire Surveys  7  1.5  Complementarity Between Research Methods  8  1.6  D e s c r i p t i o n o f T h e s i s Structure a n d C o n t e n t  9  C H A P T E R II  The History o f Community Kitchens 2.0  Introduction  10  2.1  History of Community Kitchens  11  2.2  Community Kitchens in Vancouver  14  2.3  Conclusion  16  C H A P T E R III  A Literature R e v i e w o f E m p o w e r m e n t a n d C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t 3.0  Introduction  18  3.1  Empowerment Defined  18  3.2  3.1.1  The History o f Empowerment Theory  19  3.1.2  A Definition of Empowerment  20  Community Development  22  3.2.1  The History o f Community Development  23  3.2.2  A Definition o f Community Development  27  3.3  Empowerment and C o m m u n i t y Development  29  3.4  T h e F r a m e w o r k to be T e s t e d  29  3.5  Conclusion  33  C H A P T E R IV  I n t r o d u c t i o n to the C a s e Studies: D e s c r i p t i o n s 4.0  Introduction  34  4.1  Histories  34  4.2  C o o k i n g and O r g a n i s a t i o n a l Processes  40  4.3  Goals  42  4.4  Conclusion  43  CHAPTER V  R e s e a r c h F i n d i n g s and A n a l y s i s 5.0  Introduction  44  5.1  T h e Processes o f E m p o w e r m e n t i n C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s  45  5.1.1  Learning Life Skills  45  5.1.2  Other G a i n s  52  5.1.3  Satisfaction  53  5.1.4  Presenting the E m p o w e r m e n t F r a m e w o r k  54  5.2  The Outcome o f Empowerment i n Community Kitchens  57  5.3  T h e P o t e n t i a l for U s i n g C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s to Foster C o m m u n i t y Development  58  5.4  The Role o f Vancouver's Community Kitchens Coordinator i n  5.5  Constraints F a c i n g A t t e m p t s to U s i n g C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s as a n  Community Development  5.6 5.7 CHAPTER VI  59  Empowerment Tool  62  5.5.1  65  The R o l e o f Leadership  O p p o r t u n i t i e s i n U s i n g C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s as a n E m p o w e r m e n t Tool  67  Conclusion  68  C o m m u n i t y Kitchens i n Vancouver: Implications and C o n c l u s i o n 6.0  Introduction  70  6.1  Major Findings  70  6.2  P l a n n i n g and P o l i c y I m p l i c a t i o n s  72  6.3  A r e a s for Further R e s e a r c h  6.4  Scholarly Contributions  Bibliography  ,  74 75 76  Appendix I  K e y Informants  80  A p p e n d i x II  K e y Informant Q u e s t i o n s  81  A p p e n d i x III  V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s 1998 Q u e s t i o n n a i r e  83  iV  List of Tables  T a b l e 3.1  Four Ways of V i e w i n g Community Development  T a b l e 3.2  Empowerment Types  T a b l e 3.3  Empowerment Framework  T a b l e 5.1  The Empowerment Framework  v  List of Figures  F i g u r e 3.1 F i g u r e 5.1  C o m m u n i t y E x c e l l e n c e : C h a n g i n g f r o m the Inside O u t H o w c o m f o r t a b l e do y o u feel about e x p r e s s i n g y o u r feelings, e v e n feelings about p e o p l e i n the g r o u p ?  F i g u r e 5.2  H o w w e l l does the g r o u p c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h each other?  F i g u r e 5.3  W h y d i d y o u j o i n this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n g r o u p ?  F i g u r e 5.4  H a v e y o u connected w i t h other participants? I f so, h o w ?  F i g u r e 5.5  W h a t s k i l l s do y o u t h i n k y o u ' v e learned f r o m p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n this c o m m u n i t y kitchen group?  F i g u r e 5.6  D o y o u feel better about feeding y o u r s e l f and/or y o u r f a m i l y s i n c e j o i n i n g this c o m m u n i t y kitchen group?  F i g u r e 5.7  O n a scale o f 1-5, to w h a t extent have y o u been satisfied w i t h y o u r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n experience?  vi  Acknowledgements  I w o u l d l i k e to thank D r s . T h o m a s H u t t o n a n d P e n n y G u r s t e i n , w h o have not o n l y b e e n m y thesis a d v i s o r s , but m y mentors d u r i n g m y graduate education. I a m grateful for their support a n d a d v i c e b o t h i n matters related to a n d outside o f academia. I t r u l y b e l i e v e that I a m a better p e r s o n because o f their influence. I m u s t also thank A n d r e a T a y l o r , f o r m e r l y V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s C o o r d i n a t o r . A n d r e a encouraged m e to study V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s a n d her e n t h u s i a s m w a s infectious. L i k e w i s e , I a m indebted to D i a n e C o l l i s , the present c o o r d i n a t o r for V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s . D i a n e i n s p i r e d m e w h e n I needed to be i n s p i r e d , c h a l l e n g e d m y ideas w h e n they needed to be challenged, a n d m a d e m e believe that I c o u l d c o n q u e r the w o r l d . M y gratitude i s also extended to a l l the c o m m u n i t y kitchens w h o a l l o w e d m e to participate i n their g r o u p s , a n d w h o i n turn, participated i n m y questionnaire. M y thanks to the B a r c l a y M a n o r B r e a d B u r n e r s , K i w a s s a C a n n i n g G r o u p , S L I C K , Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e a n d the Y W C A Crabtree C o r n e r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . I m u s t also thank those w h o p a r t i c i p a t e d i n m y i n t e r v i e w s . T h e y are K e r r y A r m s t r o n g , K i t t y K u k , K a r i n Scheurs, R o g a n S i n c l a i r a n d K a t h i T h o m p s o n . I w o u l d also l i k e to thank I v o r P a r r y , C a r o l R a n g e r , A n d r e a R o b e r t s o n , E l l e n W i c k b e r g and D r . M e r r y W o o d . I a m fortunate to have h a d the o p p o r t u n i t y to w o r k w i t h s u c h w o n d e r f u l p e o p l e a n d I hope that I w i l l a l w a y s r e m e m b e r the lessons they have taught m e . T h a n k y o u to m y f e l l o w students i n the S c h o o l o f C o m m u n i t y a n d R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g , e s p e c i a l l y to the " c o o l w o m e n " I have met. Y o u have h e l p e d m e g r o w as a p e r s o n , a n d h a v e m a d e the last t w o years a t r u l y w o n d e r f u l experience.  I w o u l d also l i k e to thank T r a c y C o r b e t t , X a v i e r F u r t a d o  a n d J i m Storey. T r a c y for m a k i n g sure I h a d a h o m e , X a v i e r for t a k i n g the t i m e to read m y thesis a n d J i m for t e a c h i n g m e the importance o f definitions. M o s t o f a l l , I w o u l d l i k e to t h a n k the three o f y o u for y o u r f r i e n d s h i p a n d support. F i n a l l y , I w o u l d l i k e to thank m y f a m i l y w h o have supported m e i n every single w a y , i n e v e r y t h i n g I ' v e ever undertaken. I cannot thank y o u e n o u g h . T h i s thesis i s d e d i c a t e d to y o u .  Chapter One Structure and Components  1.0  Introduction  What is a community kitchen? A c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n consists o f a group o f p e o p l e w h o meet o n a regular basis to c o o k , a n d share the cost o f p r e p a r i n g healthy meals. C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s s u c h as " c a n n i n g g r o u p s " h a v e e x i s t e d i n f o r m a l l y for hundreds o f years but the first o r g a n i s e d c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s w e r e found i n L a t i n A m e r i c a i n C h i l e and P e r u . " O l l a s C o m m u n " or " T h e C o m m o n P o t " stemmed 1  2  f r o m a grassroots m o v e m e n t i n the early seventies w h e n groups o f l o c a l w o m e n w o u l d meet e v e r y d a y to c o o k , eat a n d s e w together. F r o m L a t i n A m e r i c a , the C o m m o n P o t i d e a spread to N o r t h A m e r i c a a n d appeared i n V a n c o u v e r i n 1991.  1.1  Research Purpose T h e purpose o f this thesis i s to p r o v i d e some i n s i g h t i n t o w h y , to w h a t extent a n d h o w  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s c a n be u s e d as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l a n d whether they c a n b e u s e d to enhance c o m m u n i t y development. I n f o r m a t i o n o n c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f r o m a p l a n n i n g perspective i s l i m i t e d as i t has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been researched b y d i e t i c i a n s o r b y s o c i o l o g i s t s a n d anthropologists interested i n L a t i n A m e r i c a . T h i s study w i l l also a d d to the e x i s t i n g b o d y o f  For more information on community kitchens in Peru, read Lenten, Roelie, 1993. Cooking under the Volcanoes. Communal Kitchens in the Southern Peruvian City ofArequipa. Amsterdam: CEDLA. This PhD dissertation provides a comprehensive look into the operation of community kitchens in Peru. For a more general piece of work, refer to Jibrin, Janis. 1998. Peruvian Kitchens: A Recipe for Success. In Urban Age. 5 (3), 27-28. According to Diane Collis, Vancouver's Community Kitchens Coordinator, "ollas commun" is the term used for community kitchens in South America, in countries such as Chile while "comedores populares" is used in Central America, in countries such as Peru. The term "comedores populares" is introduced in Chapter Two. 1  2  1  e m p o w e r m e n t literature i n p l a n n i n g , i n w h i c h there are f e w sources that d i s c u s s the l i n k b e t w e e n e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y development.  1.2  P r o b l e m Statement C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are a v e h i c l e that c a n be u s e d as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l but the w a y s  i n w h i c h they e m p o w e r has not been e x p l o r e d . A m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n t o the w o r k i n g s o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens a n d their effects o n participants is needed. B y e x p l o r i n g this issue, it is h o p e d that c o m m u n i t y kitchens c a n be adapted a n d u s e d i n c o m m u n i t i e s that m a y be m a r g i n a l i s e d b y current c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t a n d p l a n n i n g approaches.  1.3  Research Questions T h e research questions for this thesis are as f o l l o w s :  i.  I n w h a t w a y s do V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r their p a r t i c i p a n t s ?  ii.  W h a t are the opportunities a n d constraints f a c i n g attempts to use c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as an empowerment tool?  iii.  H o w c a n V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens be u s e d to foster c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t ?  1.4  A p p r o a c h and M e t h o d o l o g y I n this thesis, research w a s c o n d u c t e d b y u s i n g a c o m b i n a t i o n o f techniques. T h e  a p p r o a c h w a s based p r i m a r i l y o n qualitative ( w i t h some quantitative) research a n d w a s gathered t h r o u g h f i v e research methods.  2  (1)  A r e v i e w o f e m p o w e r m e n t literature related to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t w a s c o n d u c t e d  as b a c k g r o u n d research for the study. F i n d i n g s f r o m this r e v i e w are u s e d to p r o v i d e a d e f i n i t i o n for e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y development. A p r e l i m i n a r y e x a m i n a t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n V a n c o u v e r w a s also c o n d u c t e d for the author to b e c o m e f a m i l i a r w i t h the operations o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens. (2)  P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n i n b o t h k i t c h e n s a n d at c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s ' leaders w o r k s h o p s  w a s c o n d u c t e d to p r o v i d e i n s i g h t into the w o r k i n g s o f a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . (3)  K e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s were c o n d u c t e d w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders to i d e n t i f y the  effectiveness o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n p r o m o t i n g e m p o w e r m e n t . (4)  A survey w a s c o n d u c t e d w i t h participants for their i n s i g h t o n c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s .  (5)  A c o m p a r a t i v e case study was u s e d to determine the role o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n  e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l i n c o m m u n i t y development. T h e f o l l o w i n g section p r o v i d e s a m o r e i n - d e p t h l o o k into w h y the a b o v e research m e t h o d s (except the literature r e v i e w ) w e r e chosen, h o w they w e r e a p p r o a c h e d , a n d the strengths a n d weaknesses o f each m e t h o d .  1.4.1  M u l t i p l e Case Study A p p r o a c h A m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h was selected because a diverse n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y  k i t c h e n s w e r e b e i n g observed. There are m a n y types o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n V a n c o u v e r , s u c h as the B r e a d B u r n e r s - a senior m e n ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , S L I C K - a gourmet c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n f o r w o m e n , a n d Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e - a k i t c h e n f o r pregnant teenagers a n d y o u n g mothers at r i s k . B y u s i n g a m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h , s i m i l a r i t i e s a n d  3  contrasts between a n d a m o n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens c a n be observed. A s patterns are d i s c o v e r e d a n d d e s c r i b e d , a n e x p l o r a t i o n into the s i m i l a r i t i e s a n d contrasts i n h o w these groups operate w i l l p r o v i d e the researcher w i t h a c l u e into h o w c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r i n d i v i d u a l s a n d foster the b u i l d i n g o f c o m m u n i t i e s . A s stated b y C o l i n R o b s o n , " F i n d i n g s , patterns o f data . . . f r o m these case studies w h i c h p r o v i d e this k i n d o f support, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they s i m u l t a n e o u s l y p r o v i d e evidence w h i c h does not fit i n w i t h alternative theories, are the basis f o r g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . " ( R o b s o n , 1993). T h e type o f case that w i l l be used is d e s c r i b e d b y R o b s o n as the " c o m m u n i t y study", where one or m o r e l o c a l c o m m u n i t i e s (or i n this case, c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s ) are o b s e r v e d . C o m m u n i t y case studies focus o n "the pattern of, a n d relations between m a i n aspects o f c o m m u n i t y l i f e . " ( R o b s o n , 1993). T h e k i t c h e n s that were studied w e r e selected to p r o v i d e a b r o a d cross-section o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n V a n c o u v e r . T h e y were selected a c c o r d i n g to the f o l l o w i n g criteria: l e n g t h o f t i m e the group has been c o o k i n g together, the s o c i a l m a k e u p o f the g r o u p , a n d l o c a t i o n . T h e c r i t e r i a w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n greater d e t a i l , later i n the study.  Strengths o f the m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h I n general, the strength i n u s i n g a case study a p p r o a c h is that the case study is e x p l o r a t i v e and "encourages the use o f m u l t i p l e methods o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n . " ( R o b s o n , 1993). B y u s i n g the case study a p p r o a c h , b o t h quantitative a n d qualitative data c a n be gathered. T h e m u l t i p l e case s t u d y ' s m a i n strength is that it is v i v i d a n d c a n b r i n g the theory b e i n g studied to l i f e .  4  W e a k n e s s e s o f the m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h T h e w e a k n e s s o f the m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h is that it m a y be c o n s i d e r e d a "soft o p t i o n " i n s o m e d i s c i p l i n e s ( R o b s o n , 1993). I f the researcher does not take care to incorporate quantitative a n a l y s i s into the d e s i g n o f the case study, the research m a y be too q u a l i t a t i v e . A quantitative research m e t h o d s u c h as surveys, s h o u l d be used to ensure n u m e r a c y ( R o b s o n , 1993).  1.4.2  Participant Observation P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n for this thesis was not the m a i n source o f data f o r the research.  A  n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are sponsored ( i n part) b y the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k a n d the researcher feared that her presence m a y have u s e d f o o d o r t a k e n the place o f s o m e o n e w h o needed access to a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . Instead, the researcher p a r t i c i p a t e d b y c o o k i n g i n a f e w o f the k i t c h e n s a n d attended a n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s ' leaders w o r k s h o p s that w e r e o r g a n i s e d b y V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s C o o r d i n a t o r . P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , i n the f o r m o f participant-as-observer, was useful to the research as it a l l o w e d the researcher to observe the i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n group m e m b e r s , a n d gave the researcher a n o p p o r t u n i t y to ask questions w h i c h greatly e n r i c h e d the study.  Strengths o f participant-as-observer T h e strength o f participant-as-observer research is that it a l l o w s the researcher to interact d i r e c t l y w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n m e m b e r s . F o r this thesis, participant o b s e r v a t i o n w a s u s e f u l i n s c o p i n g the research. T h e m a i n strength o f this m e t h o d w a s that it gave the researcher a n  5  o p p o r t u n i t y to meet m e m b e r s o f v a r i o u s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s w h o w e r e later a p p r o a c h e d to participate i n the questionnaire and/or k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s .  W e a k n e s s o f participant-as-observer T h e use o f participant-as-observer as a research m e t h o d has several weaknesses. T h e first is that the participant-as-observer m a y have inadvertently i n f l u e n c e d the actions o f other participants. T h e s e c o n d is that it is a t i m e c o n s u m i n g process. T h e t h i r d w e a k n e s s i s that the researcher m a y have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n presenting a n u n b i a s e d v i e w after p a r t i c i p a t i n g a n d e s t a b l i s h i n g relationships w i t h the groups.  1.4.3  K e y Informant Interviews K e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s a d d a n element o f richness to the thesis a n d s u p p l e m e n t e d the  m u l t i p l e case study w i t h qualitative data. Interviews (please refer to A p p e n d i x I f o r k e y i n f o r m a n t s a n d A p p e n d i x II for questions) w e r e c o n d u c t e d w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders/coordinators a n d were u s e d to d o c u m e n t the history o f each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . I n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d b y the k e y informants w a s also u s e d to determine h o w c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r i n d i v i d u a l s , a n d what opportunities a n d constraints are encountered.  Strengths o f k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s T h e strength o f k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s is that they e n r i c h the thesis b y s u p p l e m e n t i n g quantitative data w i t h details that are not o b v i o u s to the outsider. Informants u s u a l l y possess  6  " i n s i d e k n o w l e d g e " a n d are able to p r o v i d e v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t or e x p l a i n a n o m a l i e s that m i g h t be disregarded or o v e r l o o k e d .  Weaknesses o f key informant interviews T h e w e a k n e s s o f k e y informant i n t e r v i e w s is that w i t h i n f o r m a n t s , " w h a t they ' k n o w ' is p r o b a b l y a m i x t u r e o f fact a n d p o i n t o f v i e w . " ( B a b b i e , 1995). B e f o r e i n t e r v i e w i n g k e y i n f o r m a n t s , i n t e r v i e w e r s s h o u l d have a strong understanding o f the subject so that the difference between fact a n d p o i n t o f v i e w c a n be discerned.  1.4.4  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e surveys  A survey w a s c o n d u c t e d w i t h p a r t i c i p a t i n g m e m b e r s i n v a r i o u s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s to s u p p l e m e n t the m u l t i p l e case study approach w i t h quantitative data. A questionnaire (please refer to A p p e n d i x III for the questionnaire) w a s u s e d a n d i n c o r p o r a t e d b o t h m a t r i x format (where participants r e s p o n d b y u s i n g a scale) a n d open-ended questions. T h e questionnaire t r i e d to assess h o w w e l l c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r their m e m b e r s b y a s k i n g participants to answer questions related to e m p o w e r m e n t . T h e questionnaire also tried to incorporate t r i a n g u l a t i o n b y 3  a s k i n g questions that w e r e s i m i l a r to those asked i n the k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s . P a r t i c i p a n t s w e r e also asked m o r e general questions s u c h as w h y they h a d j o i n e d the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n a n d w h a t they l i k e d a n d d i s l i k e d about their p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n their c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . T h e questionnaires w e r e a n o n y m o u s a n d were c o n d u c t e d under the u m b r e l l a o f V a n c o u v e r ' s Community Kitchens Program.  3  Questions about empowering skills such as leadership, communication and conflict resolution were asked.  7  Strengths o f questionnaires  T h e strength o f questionnaires is that they are strong o n r e l i a b i l i t y because answers are u s u a l l y dependable. A n o t h e r strength is that the a n o n y m i t y a n d p r i v a c y associated w i t h questionnaires m i g h t encourage a m o r e c a n d i d response. H o w e v e r , the researcher i s aware that a n o n y m i t y does not guarantee truthfulness.  W e a k n e s s o f questionnaires T h e w e a k n e s s o f questionnaires is that they represent "the least c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r i n assessing p e o p l e ' s attitudes, orientations, circumstances a n d e x p e r i e n c e s . " ( B a b b i e , 1995). D e p e n d i n g o n the n u m b e r o f questionnaires, the analysis m a y be c o m p l i c a t e d a n d t i m e consuming.  1.5  C o m p l e m e n t a r i t y between research methods T h e m u l t i p l e case study approach acts as the o v e r l y i n g u m b r e l l a under w h i c h the research  w a s c o n d u c t e d . T h e m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h w a s c h o s e n because m o r e t h a n one c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n w a s observed. W i t h i n the m u l t i p l e case study a p p r o a c h , contact w i t h the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s w a s made t h r o u g h participant observation. P a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n p r o v i d e d the researcher w i t h i n s i g h t into h o w the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n groups interacted. T h i s also established a r e l a t i o n s h i p between the researcher a n d the v a r i o u s groups. S u r v e y s w e r e c o n d u c t e d after the researcher h a d established contact a n d p r o v i d e d quantitative data for the thesis. T h e use o f the questionnaires also ensured that m e m b e r s i n e a c h group h a d a say d u r i n g the research (although f i l l i n g out the questionnaires w a s o p t i o n a l ) . K e y  8  i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s p r o v i d e d the thesis w i t h qualitative data a n d w e r e u n d e r t a k e n after the questionnaires w e r e c o n d u c t e d .  1.6  D e s c r i p t i o n o f thesis structure a n d content T h i s thesis is o r g a n i s e d into s i x chapters. T h e first chapter introduces the c o n c e p t o f  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s a n d presents the statement o f purpose, research questions a n d m e t h o d s o f research. T h e literature consists o f chapters t w o a n d three. C h a p t e r t w o p r o v i d e s a h i s t o r y o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f r o m its b e g i n n i n g s as a s o c i a l m o v e m e n t i n P e r u to its appearance i n V a n c o u v e r , w h i l e chapter three p r o v i d e s a r e v i e w o f e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t . A h i s t o r y o f each theory is presented a n d the concepts are d e f i n e d . A n e m p o w e r m e n t f r a m e w o r k has also been adapted to assess the l e v e l o f e m p o w e r m e n t the case studies have reached. T h e research f i n d i n g s are presented a n d analysed i n chapters four a n d f i v e . A n i n t r o d u c t i o n to the case studies is p r o v i d e d i n chapter four. B r i e f histories are g i v e n f o r each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , a n d c o m m o n procedures a n d goals are d e s c r i b e d . T h e research is d i s c u s s e d a n d a n a n a l y s i s is d r a w n i n chapter f i v e . C h a p t e r s i x c o n c l u d e s b y d r a w i n g out the major f i n d i n g s from the research. P l a n n i n g a n d p o l i c y i m p l i c a t i o n s are c o n s i d e r e d a l o n g w i t h areas for further research.  9  Chapter Two The History of Community Kitchens  2.0  Introduction  "Essentially, community kitchens are about people connecting with people, helping themselves and each other, and building community around food. " Andrea Taylor Former Vancouver Community Kitchens Coordinator.  U n l i k e soup kitchens, c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r its m e m b e r s because the participants learn s k i l l s s u c h as c o o k i n g and/or c o o p e r a t i o n , w h i l e they prepare their meals. I n N o r t h A m e r i c a , c o m m u n i t y kitchens are not l i m i t e d to those i n need but are o r g a n i s e d b y p e o p l e f r o m a l l w a l k s o f life. S o m e c o m m u n i t y kitchens operate to ensure access to f o o d a n d save m o n e y , w h i l e other k i t c h e n s are a c o l l e c t i o n o f people w h o w i s h to i m p r o v e their c o o k i n g s k i l l s , e x p l o r e n e w c u i s i n e (e.g. vegetarian c o o k i n g ) o r socialise a r o u n d f o o d . N o t a l l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are based o n f i n a n c i a l need; i n m a n y c o m m u n i t y kitchens the feeding o f the s o u l i s as i m p o r t a n t as f i l l i n g the s t o m a c h . S o c i a l interaction i s a n important element i n m a n y c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s a n d some groups b e l i e v e that eating together after the m e a l has been prepared i s as i m p o r t a n t as p r e p a r i n g the f o o d itself. I n this w a y , V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens p l a y a n i m p o r t a n t r o l e b y c o n n e c t i n g people a n d b u i l d i n g c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h the use o f f o o d . A c c o r d i n g to L u c h o v a n Isschot, "sheer need m a y d r i v e m a n y [participants] to organise c o m m u n a l kitchens [but] the f r i e n d s h i p s a n d the p o s i t i v e energy that are d e v e l o p e d i n these kitchens encourage a sense o f c o l l e c t i v e p u r p o s e . " ( v a n Isschot, 1996).  10  A n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s exist f o r seniors, s i n g l e parents, y o u n g mothers-at-risk a n d n e w i m m i g r a n t s . F o r n e w i m m i g r a n t s , the p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n p r o v i d e s a n o p p o r t u n i t y to s o c i a l i s e as w e l l as learn n e w s k i l l s s u c h as s h o p p i n g f o r f o o d i n a n e w c o u n t r y . F o r s i n g l e parents, c o m m u n i t y kitchens h e l p to save b o t h t i m e a n d m o n e y (because f o o d is prepared i n b u l k ) , a n d since the f o o d b e i n g prepared is f o r p e r s o n a l c o n s u m p t i o n , c o o k i n g c a n take place anywhere.  I f the group is s m a l l , c o o k i n g c a n be done o n a r o t a t i o n a l basis i n e a c h  m e m b e r s ' h o m e . L a r g e r groups m a y prefer to meet i n a c o m m o n p l a c e , s u c h as i n the k i t c h e n s o f c o m m u n i t y centres, n e i g h b o u r h o o d houses, schools or l o c a l churches. I n V a n c o u v e r , c o m m u n i t y kitchens that express a need are f u n d e d i n part ( t h r o u g h f o o d items) b y the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k , m a k i n g m e a l s m o r e affordable. I n s o m e n e i g h b o u r h o o d s , c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s have l e d to the creation o f c o m m u n i t y gardens fostering c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t ; a fundamental p r i n c i p l e b e h i n d c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s .  2.1  History o f Community Kitchens T h e f o r m a t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s began i n P e r u as a grassroots m o v e m e n t i n the late  1970s i n response to h i g h i n f l a t i o n rates a n d the u n e v e n d i s t r i b u t i o n o f f o o d a i d . K n o w n as " c o m e d o r e s p o p u l a r e s " , the first c o m m u n i t y kitchens appeared i n 1978 as a result o f I M F 1  structural adjustment p r o g r a m s w h i c h cut real i n c o m e s a n d greatly r e d u c e d o r e l i m i n a t e d m a n y p u b l i c f o o d subsidies ( L e n t e n , 1993 a n d L i n d a n d F a r m e l o , 1996). T o c o m b a t this p r o b l e m ,  According to Lenten (1993), "comedores" literally means dining-room. In English, "comedores" has been loosely translated to kitchen. 11 1  groups o f w o m e n w o u l d p o o l their resources (either f o o d supplies o r c o o k i n g e q u i p m e n t ) a n d t i m e to c o o k f o r a n u m b e r o f f a m i l i e s at o n c e m a k i n g f o o d preparation m o r e efficient. 2  A m o v e m e n t started a n d used b y w o m e n , comedores populares are c o m m o n l y l o c a t e d i n " p u e b l o s j o v e n e s " - shantytowns a n d s l u m s i n P e r u ' s poorest n e i g h b o u r h o o d s . I n 1978, there w e r e 100 k i t c h e n s ; c o m p a r e d to today where a p p r o x i m a t e l y 10,000 k i t c h e n s feed a l m o s t three m i l l i o n p e o p l e i n cities a l l over P e r u ( J i b r i n , 1998). C o m e d o r e s populares are also f o u n d i n B o l i v i a , C h i l e , Ecuador, C o l o m b i a and Argentina, along w i t h many c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n o p e r a t i o n throughout N o r t h A m e r i c a . W i t h s u c h a large p o p u l a t i o n r e l y i n g o n comedores populares, several c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n P e r u have j o i n e d to f o r m the F e d e r a t i o n o f S e l f - M a n a g e d P o p u l a r K i t c h e n s ( F C P A ) . T h e federation p r o v i d e s a v o i c e for m a n y P e r u v i a n w o m e n i n issues that e x t e n d b e y o n d f o o d security a n d into n a t i o n a l p o l i c y debates; issues s u c h as transportation, r u n n i n g water a n d p u b l i c health. T h e m o v e m e n t has e n o u g h o f a p o l i t i c a l v o i c e to b e c o n s i d e r e d P e r u ' s m o s t p o w e r f u l p o p u l a r l o b b y i n g m o v e m e n t . A n activist organisation, the federation also oversees the p u r c h a s i n g o f b u l k items, micro-enterprise activities a n d r e t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m s w h i l e the k i t c h e n s p r o v i d e a p l a c e to raise awareness about other c o m m u n i t y issues ( L i n d a n d F a r m e l o , 1996). A l t h o u g h e m p o w e r i n g for w o m e n , it s h o u l d be noted that not everyone i n P e r u i s pleased w i t h the o p e r a t i o n o f the comedores populares. I n P e r u ' s m a c h i s m o society, m a n y m e n are  In the late 1970s, a common problem surrounding food aid was the uneven distribution of products. One family would receive a bag of flour while a neighbouring family would receive a bag of sugar. To better utilise food aid, the female heads of the households would trade food items. Eventually, the women realised that by pooling their finances they could also buy their food in larger quantities at lower prices. This led to the creation of the community kitchen. Government and non-governmental organisation (NGO) officials soon learned about the comedores populares and began to contribute food aid directly to the community kitchens (Lenten, 1993 and Jibrin, 1998). 2  12  o p p o s e d to the comedores populares because i t is b e l i e v e d that a w o m a n ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n i s because o f a h u s b a n d and/or father's i n a b i l i t y to p r o v i d e f o r h i s w i f e a n d f a m i l y ( L e n t e n , 1993 a n d L i n d a n d F a r m e l o , 1996). M a n y comedores p o p u l a r e s are also targeted b y P e r u ' s w e l l - k n o w n terrorist group, S h i n i n g P a t h (Sendero L u m i n o s o ) . S h i n i n g P a t h , the C o m m u n i s t P a r t y o f P e r u , i s a g u e r i l l a m o v e m e n t that b e g a n i n the early 1970s ( L e n t e n , 1993). M e m b e r s o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens have r e c e i v e d death threats f r o m S h i n i n g P a t h , f o r c i n g targeted c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s to operate u n d e r g r o u n d ( L i n d a n d F a r m e l o , 1996). S h i n i n g P a t h uses i n t i m i d a t i o n tactics o n groups s u c h as c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , because p o w e r f u l s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l organisations ( i n this case c o m m u n i t y kitchens) are a threat to S h i n i n g P a t h , w h o s e m o v e m e n t relies o n fear. D e s p i t e these barriers, comedores populares continue to operate i n P e r u because the s o c i a l n e t w o r k a n d f o o d subsidies they p r o v i d e , have made their existence necessary for survival . 3  W h i l e the n o t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a grassroots m o v e m e n t started i n P e r u , c o o k i n g i n groups to save t i m e a n d m o n e y is not a n e w concept a n d has e x i s t e d f o r hundreds o f years. A t the t u r n o f the century, w o m e n i n N o r t h A m e r i c a often c o o k e d together d u r i n g b a r n r a i s i n g s a n d q u i l t i n g bees. S i m i l a r to t o d a y ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , these events w e r e h i g h l y s o c i a l i s e d c o m m u n i t y gatherings assembled a r o u n d f o o d .  Some Peruvian women have said that given a choice, they would not continue to participate in a comedores populares but had to because of the food products and resources the kitchens are able to provide which are needed to feed their families. According to Lind and Farmelo, "the fact that communal kitchens have become accepted practices may not mean that they are desired, but rather necessary for survival." (1996). 3  13  2.2  Community Kitchens in Vancouver T h e r e are a n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n operation throughout C a n a d a f r o m  N e w f o u n d l a n d to B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . A n actual count o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n C a n a d a is not a v a i l a b l e but the m o v e m e n t ' s p o p u l a r i t y a n d r e p l i c a b i l i t y c a n be ascertained. I n 1991, the M i n i s t r y o f H e a l t h i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a reported forty-five c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n o p e r a t i o n throughout the p r o v i n c e . T o d a y , there are forty c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n the V a n c o u v e r r e g i o n alone. C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n V a n c o u v e r are f o r m e d b y groups f r o m v a r i o u s s o c i a l b a c k g r o u n d s a n d f r o m a l l w a l k s o f life. T h e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n n e t w o r k i n c l u d e s k i t c h e n s o r g a n i s e d b y seniors (both m e n a n d w o m e n ) , single parents, y o u n g mothers-at-risk, n e w i m m i g r a n t s , F i r s t N a t i o n s a n d welfare recipients. W i t h i n the c i t y there are a range o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s that i n c l u d e a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n i n a s i n g l e - r o o m o c c u p a n c y h o t e l ( S R O ) , a c a n n i n g g r o u p for n e w i m m i g r a n t s a n d a gourmet c o o k i n g group; a l o n g w i t h m a n y other c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s throughout the c i t y . M o s t o f V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s c o o k once a w e e k or once a m o n t h . I f a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n meets o n a w e e k l y basis, the session w i l l i n c l u d e b o t h the c o o k i n g o f the w e e k ' s m e a l a n d the p l a n n i n g o f the next. C o m m u n i t y kitchens that c o o k o n a m o n t h l y basis tend to have t w o meetings a m o n t h for each c o o k i n g session. T h e first m e e t i n g is to p l a n a n d organise the m e n u for the second m e e t i n g , w h e n the c o o k i n g takes place. C o o k i n g i n a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n c a n take place anywhere but V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are u s u a l l y f o u n d i n c o m m u n i t y centres, n e i g h b o u r h o o d houses, schools a n d churches; b u i l d i n g s w h i c h have  14  large k i t c h e n s to facilitate group c o o k i n g . M a n y o f V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are f o u n d i n V a n c o u v e r ' s Neighbourhood Houses. V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens f a l l under the C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n a d v i s o r y b o a r d w h i c h i s m a d e u p o f four partners. S p o n s o r s h i p is p r o v i d e d b y B C G a s i n partnership w i t h the F o o d B a n k , R E A C H C o m m u n i t y H e a l t h Centre a n d the V a n c o u v e r H e a l t h B o a r d . D e c i s i o n s are m a d e b y consensus a n d the a d v i s o r y b o a r d meets once a m o n t h w i t h the C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n C o o r d i n a t o r to oversee the d e v e l o p m e n t a n d progress o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s . T h e p h i l o s o p h y 4  b e h i n d C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s i n V a n c o u v e r is based o n the i d e a o f " B u i l d i n g C o m m u n i t y A r o u n d F o o d a n d C r e a t i n g O p p o r t u n i t i e s for P e o p l e to C o o k Together".  The community development  p r i n c i p l e s that V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s subscribe to are: •  to increase the a b i l i t y o f i n d i v i d u a l s a n d the c o m m u n i t y to participate effectively i n the d e c i s i o n s that affect their l i v e s ;  •  to increase the a b i l i t y o f c o m m u n i t y m e m b e r s to identify a n d act o n c o m m o n issues;  •  to ensure that the c o m m u n i t y o r group develops independence a n d o w n e r s h i p o v e r the initiative . 5  I n N o r t h A m e r i c a , m a n y c o m m u n i t y kitchens are also t i e d into the f o o d b a n k t h r o u g h alternative f o o d d i s t r i b u t i o n systems s u c h as the " G o o d F o o d B o x " i n T o r o n t o o r the " G o o d F o o d B a g " i n V a n c o u v e r . T h e G o o d F o o d B o x a n d G o o d F o o d B a g distribute fresh p r o d u c e a n d  The Community Kitchen Coordinator acts as a link for all of the community kitchens in Vancouver. Hired by the Advisory Board, the Coordinator is housed in the REACH Community Health Centre and runs the Community Kitchen Program. The Coordinator organises workshops on community kitchens for kitchen leaders and for people who are interested in starting a community kitchen. Basically, the Coordinator provides support to community kitchens that are in operation. These principles are based on the community development model created by the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. 15  4  5  extra f o o d a c c u m u l a t e d b y the f o o d banks and/or donated b y sponsors, a l o n g w i t h recipes to f a m i l i e s i n need. F o r m a n y f a m i l i e s , the a d d i t i o n a l b a g or b o x o f f o o d e a c h m o n t h is the difference b e t w e e n a nutritious m e a l a n d an unhealthy but cheap alternative. F o o d security advocates see c o m m u n i t y kitchens a n d gardens, a n d alternative f o o d d i s t r i b u t i o n systems as part o f the s o l u t i o n to the g l o b a l crisis i n f o o d management ( v a n Isschot, 1996).  2.3  Conclusion T h i s chapter s u r v e y e d the history o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f r o m its b e g i n n i n g s as a s o c i a l  m o v e m e n t i n P e r u to its p o p u l a r i s a t i o n i n Greater V a n c o u v e r . I n b o t h areas, the p r e m i s e b e h i n d c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s is to feed the b o d y . I n P e r u , c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are p o l i t i c a l l y c h a r g e d a n d are needed for s u r v i v a l . F o o d a i d is often distributed t h r o u g h comedores p o p u l a r e s a n d female heads o f h o u s e h o l d s u s u a l l y participate i n c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s to access f o o d subsidies.  A  n e t w o r k o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s k n o w n as the F e d e r a t i o n o f S e l f - M a n a g e d P o p u l a r K i t c h e n s ( F C P A ) exists i n P e r u , a n d it p r o v i d e s a v o i c e for m a n y P e r u v i a n w o m e n . T h i s o r g a n i s a t i o n tackles a v a r i e t y o f c o m m u n i t y - r e l a t e d issues a n d performs a n u m b e r o f f u n c t i o n s s u c h as p r o v i d i n g m i c r o - c r e d i t or retraining. I n V a n c o u v e r , c o m m u n i t y kitchens operate to ensure access to f o o d but a n u m b e r o f groups also gather to create s o c i a l networks. T h e V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s P r o g r a m i s a d m i n i s t e r e d b y a n a d v i s o r y b o a r d w h i c h is made up o f four partners ( w h i c h are B C G a s , the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k , the R E A C H C o m m u n i t y H e a l t h Centre a n d the V a n c o u v e r H e a l t h B o a r d ) . A n e t w o r k o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens does not exist i n V a n c o u v e r as it does i n P e r u but a c o o r d i n a t o r is h i r e d b y the b o a r d to oversee the p r o g r a m . T h e c o o r d i n a t o r acts as a resource 16  person for the kitchens; however, because there is no network, links between the kitchens are weak. Workshops for community kitchen leaders are held by the coordinator to connect the kitchens but a network has not been created. This chapter provided a description of community kitchens. The next chapter continues with a literature review and defines the concepts of empowerment and community development.  17  Chapter Three A Literature Review of Empowerment and Community Development  3.0  Introduction The purpose o f this thesis is to explore the use o f community kitchens as an  empowerment tool and whether they can be used in community development ( C D ) . In the previous chapter, a general history o f community kitchens was provided. This chapter continues with the literature review by defining empowerment and community development within the context o f this thesis. A history o f the two theories has been described and definitions have been provided for both. A n empowerment framework has also been adapted and w i l l be used later i n the thesis as a benchmark to assess the level o f empowerment each community kitchen has reached.  3.1  Empowerment Defined A s described by Ristock and Pennell (1996), "empowerment" is a term that is widely  used i n a variety o f professions. The concept o f empowerment is studied i n fields as diverse as community planning, social work, psychology and health care. Each discipline has its own understanding o f the term, but it is generally agreed that "empowerment is the process o f increasing personal, interpersonal and political power so that individuals, families and communities can take action to improve their situations." (Gutierrez, 1995). Gutierrez states that "within each field, empowerment has been described as a new way o f thinking about developing programs, policies and services." (Gutierrez, 1995). Community kitchens have the capacity to  18  empower individuals because they allow people to increase their personal power through selfhelp.  3.1.1  The history o f empowerment theory The concept o f empowerment was popularised i n the late 1960s and is associated with the  civil and social rights movements from that time. Historically, empowerment is a concept that has been associated with the voluntary/NGO sector and the fight for the rights o f people who have traditionally been marginalised. A number o f social development theorists argue that marginalised people empower themselves by challenging power relations and by taking power from those i n power (Mayo and Craig, 1995). Other theorists believe that power is a resource that has potential or is present i n every person or community. People and communities are empowered when they tap into the power and/or potential power that already exists i n themselves and their communities (Checkoway, 1995). Institutions such as the World Bank and the I M F specifically support community based self-help empowerment initiatives, such as community participation, as part o f their agendas (Mayo and Craig, 1995). The literature i n empowerment theory tends to focus on how an individual's positive belief in oneself can contribute to individual, community and social change (Gutierrez, 1995). A n ongoing question within the literature is the discussion o f empowerment and its link to self-sufficiency. A common question is: to what extent must people be responsible for themselves before they are considered empowered? A t one end o f the argument, the definition o f  19  e m p o w e r m e n t is restricted o n l y to situations o f total s e l f h e l p w h i l e at the other e n d , the act o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s e m p o w e r i n g i n itself. S o c i a l d e v e l o p m e n t theorists, p a r t i c u l a r l y f e m i n i s t s , have recently c h a l l e n g e d the i d e o l o g y o f e m p o w e r m e n t . A c c o r d i n g to R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l , the c r i t i c i s m stems f r o m the r e a c t i o n o f p o l i t i c i a n s , bureaucrats a n d professionals w h o " h a v e t a k e n e m p o w e r m e n t to m e a n n o t h i n g m o r e than i n d i v i d u a l self-assertion" a n d w h o s e p o l i c i e s ( i n the n a m e o f e m p o w e r m e n t ) continue to disadvantage m a r g i n a l i s e d people, p a r t i c u l a r l y w o m e n a n d c h i l d r e n ( R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l , 1996). A n o t h e r argument is that governments are m i s u s i n g the t e r m e m p o w e r m e n t to encourage c o m m u n i t i e s a n d p r o g r a m s to d e v e l o p organisations to f u l f i l the roles that g o v e r n m e n t s are s u p p o s e d to p l a y . C o m m u n i t y organisations a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t specialists are c o n c e r n e d that governments are g r a d u a l l y e x p e c t i n g c o m m u n i t i e s to m a n a g e a n d take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f the s o c i a l welfare n e t w o r k o f its c i t i z e n s d u r i n g a t i m e w h e n s o c i a l w e l f a r e budgets are b e i n g reduced. A n u m b e r o f g o v e r n m e n t reports, s u c h as " E m p o w e r m e n t : A N e w C o v e n a n t W i t h A m e r i c a ' s C o m m u n i t i e s - President C l i n t o n ' s N a t i o n a l U r b a n P o l i c y R e p o r t " p o i n t to t h i s trend.  3.1.2  A definition o f empowerment G u t i e r r e z ' s r e v i e w o f the literature finds that "the g o a l o f e m p o w e r m e n t i s m o s t often  expressed as a n increase i n personal p o w e r . " ( G u t i e r r e z , 1995). F o r this thesis, the concept o f e m p o w e r m e n t is d e v e l o p e d w i t h i n the context o f c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t w h e r e the process i s a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h self-help, p a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d n e t w o r k i n g a n d where the o u t c o m e c a n v a r y f r o m p e r s o n a l satisfaction to c o m m u n i t y change.  20  D e p e n d i n g o n the situation, the d e f i n i t i o n o f e m p o w e r m e n t that applies w i l l also change. R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l (1996) p r o v i d e a n u m b e r o f definitions to define e m p o w e r m e n t f r o m i n d i v i d u a l , interpersonal, organisational a n d societal perspectives.  I n general, R i s t o c k a n d  P e n n e l l define e m p o w e r m e n t as "the means to enhance o u r a b i l i t y to c o n t r o l o u r o w n l i v e s . " ( R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l , 1996). A c c o r d i n g to their d e f i n i t i o n s , e m p o w e r m e n t at a n i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l is to d r a w i n n e r strength b y t a k i n g c o n t r o l o f a situation a n d asserting oneself.  Interpersonally, it  means the s h a r i n g o f resources for m u t u a l benefit. O r g a n i s a t i o n a l l y , e m p o w e r m e n t is the a b i l i t y to w o r k d e m o c r a t i c a l l y b y p a r t i c i p a t i n g e q u a l l y a n d sharing i n d e c i s i o n a n d p o l i c y - m a k i n g , w h i l e at a societal l e v e l , e m p o w e r m e n t is a p o l i t i c a l act that c a n range f r o m acts o f p o l i t i c a l resistance to m o b i l i s a t i o n . E m p o w e r m e n t has been described as " a process one undertakes for oneself; it is not s o m e t h i n g done ' t o ' or ' f o r ' s o m e o n e " (adapted f r o m L a t h e r b y R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l , 1996).  An  i n d i v i d u a l ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n their o w n decisions is a n important element o f self-help a n d the e m p o w e r m e n t process. T h e process is c u m u l a t i v e . Increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n c a n l e a d to h i g h e r levels o f c o n f i d e n c e , self-esteem a n d k n o w l e d g e .  T h i s i n turn, leads to further p a r t i c i p a t i o n u n t i l  a n objective ( u s u a l l y a change for the better) is reached (see F i g u r e 3.1 - C o m m u n i t y E x c e l l e n c e : C h a n g i n g f r o m the Inside Out). W i t h i n the literature there are also d i s t i n c t i o n s made between " e m p o w e r i n g o r g a n i s a t i o n s " a n d " e m p o w e r e d organisations". E m p o w e r i n g organisations e m p o w e r its participants b y i n c r e a s i n g the confidence a n d competencies o f its m e m b e r s w h i l e e m p o w e r e d organisations e m p o w e r a n d influence the e n v i r o n m e n t and/or c o m m u n i t y s u r r o u n d i n g the o r g a n i s a t i o n . W i t h these distinctions i n m i n d , c o m m u n i t y kitchens are p r i m a r i l y e m p o w e r i n g  21  o r g a n i s a t i o n s because the process o f e m p o w e r m e n t tends to o c c u r at the i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . I f u s e d as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l i n c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t , c o m m u n i t y kitchens are e m p o w e r e d organisations because o f their influence o n c o m m u n i t i e s .  Community Excellence: Changing from the Inside Out  Source: Trie Conference Board o l Canada.  Figure 3.1  3.2  C o m m u n i t y Development C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n state that "the p r i m a r y g o a l o f c o m m u n i t y  d e v e l o p m e n t is to h e l p p e o p l e i m p r o v e their s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m i c situations." ( C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , 1989). S i m i l a r to e m p o w e r m e n t , a n u m b e r o f definitions are a v a i l a b l e i n the literature to describe C D . It has b e e n a c k n o w l e d g e d b y c o m m u n i t y development practitioners that i n the 1990s, the t e r m has i n some w a y s , b e c o m e a catchphrase. T h i s is because c o m m u n i t y development has b e c o m e an i m p o r t a n t issue for the 1990s as federal a n d p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t cutbacks m a k e it m o r e d i f f i c u l t f o r dependent c o m m u n i t i e s to deal w i t h  22  l o c a l p r o b l e m s ( C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , 1989). M a n y organisations are i n c o r p o r a t i n g the t e r m " c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t " w i t h i n their p r o p o s a l s a n d mandates to attract more funding.  3.2.1  The history o f community development T h e literature reveals that the concept o f c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t first e m e r g e d i n 1942  and w a s i n t r o d u c e d b y the B r i t i s h government.  It was described as a m o v e m e n t to l i n k l o c a l  governments to " p r o m o t e better l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s for the w h o l e c o m m u n i t y w i t h active p a r t i c i p a t i o n , a n d i f p o s s i b l e , i n i t i a t i v e o f the c o m m u n i t y . " ( O ' G o r m a n , 1995). T h i s d e f i n i t i o n attracted the attention o f v a r i o u s organisations interested i n d e v e l o p m e n t a n d w a s s o o n adapted to fit these i n s t i t u t i o n s ' mandates. I n the 1950s, the U n i t e d N a t i o n s ( U N ) b e g a n u s i n g the t e r m " c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t " to describe self-help i n i t i a t i v e s t a k i n g p l a c e i n d e v e l o p i n g countries ( O ' G o r m a n , 1995). C D w a s p r o m o t e d b y b o t h governments a n d institutions, s u c h as the U N , as part o f the f o l l o w i n g : m o v e m e n t s to d e c o l o n i s e A f r i c a a n d A s i a ; attempts to m o d e r n i s e u n d e r d e v e l o p e d a g r i c u l t u r a l societies a n d " b a c k w a r d " regions o f d e v e l o p e d c o u n t r i e s ; a n d the W a r o n P o v e r t y established b y governments i n m o r e affluent W e s t e r n countries. ( C a m p f e n s , 1997). I n 1963, the U n i t e d N a t i o n s a r r i v e d at its o w n d e f i n i t i o n w h i c h , as n o t e d b y C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n (1989), w a s later used as the basis for c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t w o r k . T h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s ' d e f i n i t i o n was: "the process b y w h i c h the efforts o f the people themselves are u n i t e d w i t h those o f g o v e r n m e n t a l authorities to i m p r o v e the e c o n o m i c , s o c i a l a n d c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s o f c o m m u n i t i e s , to integrate these c o m m u n i t i e s into the l i f e o f a n a t i o n , a n d to enable t h e m to contribute f u l l y to n a t i o n a l progress. T h i s c o m p l e x o f processes i s , therefore, m a d e up o f t w o essential elements: the p a r t i c i p a t i o n b y the p e o p l e themselves i n efforts to i m p r o v e their l e v e l o f l i v i n g , w i t h as m u c h reliance as  23  possible on their own initiative; and the provision of technical and other services in ways which encourage initiative, self-help and mutual help and make these more effective. It is expressed in programmes designed to achieve a wide variety of specific improvements." (United Nations, 1963 as quoted in Christenson, Fendley and Robinson, 1989). During the 1950s and early 1960s, much of the discussion surrounding community development focused on developing self-help programmes and providing financial aid to developing countries, particularly Africa. By the end of the 1960s, communities in the developed world also embraced the community development movement and began to apply its principles to their own communities. Much of the movement was linked to the civil and social rights movements of the 1960s and the concern for the welfare of disempowered inner city neighbourhoods in many American cities. In the United States in the 1970s, community development was often promoted from a "grassroots" perspective. Most of these efforts, particularly in cities such as Chicago (where racial tensions and disparities were high), focused on the revitalisation of lower and middle income neighbourhoods, through housing development, economic stimulation (later known as "community economic development") and job training in response to the many unsuccessful urban renewal projects of the 1960s (Mitchell-Weaver, 1990 and Wiewel and Gill, 1995). CD practitioners worked in conjunction with neighbourhood advocates at the local level to deliver community development programs to address these issues. Canada, on the other hand, did not share the same urban history in urban renewal or "ghetto-isation". Two strands of thought are found in the literature. According to MitchellWeaver (1990), community development in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s focused on the problems facing rural and northern areas and the decline of single-industry towns, while Abucar 24  (1995), describes the C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t ' s support for p r o g r a m s w h o s e p u r p o s e w a s to i m p r o v e the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s o f m a r g i n a l i s e d groups. S i m i l a r to A m e r i c a n efforts i n the 1970s, the C a n a d i a n g o v e r n m e n t created a p r o g r a m k n o w n as the C o m m u n i t y E m p l o y m e n t Strategy ( C E S ) w h i c h dealt w i t h education, h o u s i n g , s k i l l s t r a i n i n g a n d s m a l l business d e v e l o p m e n t ( A b u c a r , 1995). T h e 1980s s a w c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t shift f r o m grassroots approaches to sophisticated c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d organisations entrenched i n development. A c c o r d i n g to W i e w e l a n d G i l l s ( 1 9 9 5 ) , this w a s a p e r i o d w h e n m a n y organisations i n the U n i t e d States r e c e i v e d f i n a n c i a l support f r o m a v a r i e t y o f p u b l i c a n d private sources. F u n d i n g p r o v i d e d the o r g a n i s a t i o n s w i t h l e g i t i m a c y to pursue c o m p l e x C D projects that sometimes i n v o l v e d p u b l i c - p r i v a t e partnerships b e t w e e n these organisations a n d the government. T h i s shift, h o w e v e r , f r o m the s i m p l e to the sophisticated has i n some w a y s , resulted i n a " c o r p o r a t i s a t i o n " o f c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t a w a y f r o m advocates for the m a r g i n a l i s e d to partners i n l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t a n d s p e c u l a t i o n ( M i t c h e l l W e a v e r , 1990). T h i s w a s not the case i n C a n a d a where c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t i n the 1980s g r e w o n the ideas f r o m the 1970s but w i t h a m o r e h o l i s t i c a p p r o a c h to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t that e m p h a s i s e d c o m m u n i t y e c o n o m i c self-sufficiency ( A b u c a r , 1995). B u t at the same t i m e , there w a s a g r o w i n g interest i n c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t a m o n g b o t h n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organisations ( N G O s ) a n d i n the v o l u n t a r y sector that l i n k e d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t to, a n d sustained, its grassroots past ( C a m p f e n s , 1997). C o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t has b e c o m e a n important issue i n N o r t h A m e r i c a n cities as g o v e r n m e n t cutbacks have m a d e it d i f f i c u l t for c o m m u n i t i e s to o b t a i n p u b l i c f u n d i n g . A l t h o u g h m a n y A m e r i c a n c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t organisations are able to f a l l b a c k o n p r i v a t e sources,  C a n a d a does not share the same h i s t o r y o f p h i l a n t h r o p y . I n the 1990s, a g r o w i n g c o n c e r n is the fear that the t e r m has b e c o m e a catchphrase a n d a n o p p o r t u n i t y for the state to s h i r k its s o c i a l duties. W h i l e c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t has r e c e i v e d support f r o m a l l l e v e l s o f g o v e r n m e n t , it is often because c o m m u n i t y organisations a n d i n i t i a t i v e s have f i l l e d the roles the state u s e d to p l a y but w i t h o u t the r e q u i r e d f u n d i n g . A s M a y o states, "there has been o f f i c i a l support f o r c o m m u n i t y p a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t f r o m international agencies t h r o u g h to g o v e r n m e n t a n d l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t organisations . . . b u t . . . reductions . . . i n a i d to p r e c i s e l y the types o f c o m m u n i t y o r g a n i s a t i o n that have been m o b i l i s i n g self-help efforts." ( M a y o , 1994). C r a i g reiterates this p o i n t b y s a y i n g that g o v e r n m e n t support o f c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t " i s a d m i r a b l e . . . b u t . . . m i g h t also be regarded as m e r e l y another means b y w h i c h cuts i n essential services are h i d d e n b e h i n d a rhetoric o f v o l u n t a r i s m a n d c o m m u n i t y i n v o l v e m e n t . . ." ( C r a i g , 1998). C r a i g (1998) p o i n t s to another d i m e n s i o n o f c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t that has e v o l v e d i n the 1990s. H e states that C D has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been treated as a l o c a l a p p r o a c h to p r o b l e m s o l v i n g . C r a i g (1998), s i m i l a r to A b u c a r (1995), C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n (1989), M i t c h e l l - W e a v e r (1990) a n d W i e w e l a n d G i l l s (1995) also a c k n o w l e d g e s the " r e m a r k a b l e g r o w t h i n interest i n the concepts o f c o m m u n i t y a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t at l o c a l , n a t i o n a l a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l l e v e l s . " ( C r a i g , 1998). H i s argument, h o w e v e r , is related to the g l o b a l i s a t i o n o f the e c o n o m y a n d h i s b e l i e f that i n these t i m e s , " c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t needs to r e t h i n k its a p p r o a c h to incorporate a g l o b a l d i m e n s i o n . " ( C r a i g , 1998). T h e greatest c h a l l e n g e c u r r e n t l y f a c i n g C D i s where to place the i d e a w i t h i n a g l o b a l context i n a w o r l d w h e r e f i n a n c i a l resources are s h r i n k i n g .  26  3.2.2 A definition of community development There are many definitions for the term "community development". Christenson, Fendley and Robinson's (1989) review of the literature reveals four approaches to community development. As described by I.T. Sanders in 1958 (see Table 3.1 - Four Ways of Viewing Community Development), community development can be viewed as: a process, a method, a program and a movement (Christenson, Fendley and Robinson, 1989). Community development in practice, however, is not so easily categorised because it is heavily influenced by geography and the society in place. Depending on the situation, community development can be adapted from one or all of the following definitions. Sanders' breakdown nevertheless, is a useful departure point for discussing community development, although the concept has evolved. Most of the definitions found in the literature share common elements. In general, community development can be defined as a group of people, usually in a locality although sometimes not, who are willing to make changes to their community to improve the physical, social and economic conditions of their communities through government action and the community's own efforts (Christenson, Fendley and Robinson, 1989; Florin and Wandersman, 1990). The underlying theme of community development, however, is the betterment of people by people. As Christenson, Fendley and Robinson state, the betterment of people is achieved through community development that is "concerned with public policies, governmental actions, economic activities, institution building and other types of actions that not only affect people but can be affected by people. It focuses on the humanistic elements involved in change and how such change contributes to social and economic well-being." (Christenson, Fendley and Robinson, 1989). Boothroyd also describes community development as ".. .organising, learning, and mandating practices which 27  increase capabilities not o n l y to reach existing goals, but also to w o r k t o w a r d a broader range a n d higher l e v e l o f goals." ( B o o t h r o y d , 1996). T a b l e 3.1  Four Ways o f V i e w i n g Community Development I. A PROCESS II. A METHOD CD as a process moves by stages from one condition (Progress and Objective) or state to the next. It involves a progression of CD is a means to an end; a way of working so that changes in terms of specified criteria. It is a neutral, some goal is attained. Other methods (such as change scientific term, subject to fairly precise definition and by decree orfiat;change by use of differential measurement expressed chiefly in social relations; rewards; change by education) may be supplementary e.g., change from state where one or two people or a to the CD method which seeks to carry through the small elite within or without local community make stages suggested under process in order that the will of decisions for the rest of the people to state where those using this method (national government, private people themselves make these decisions about matters welfare agency, or local people themselves) may be of common concern; from state of minimum to one of carried out. The process is guided for a particular maximum co-operation; from state where few purpose, which may prove "harmful" or "helpful" to participate to one where many participate; from state the local community, depending upon the goal in view where all resources and specialists come from outside and the criteria of the one passing judgement. to one where local people make most use of their own Emphasis is upon some end. resources, etc. Emphasis is upon what happens to people, socially and psychologically. III. A PROGRAM (Method and Content) This method is stated as a set of procedures and the content as a list of activities. By carrying out the procedures, the activities are supposedly accomplished. When the program is highly formalized, as in many Five-Year Plans, the focus tends to be upon the program rather than upon what is happening to the people involved in the program. It is a program that CD comes into contact with subject-matter specialties such as health, welfare, agriculture, industry, recreations, etc. Emphasis is upon activities.  IV. A MOVEMENT (Program and Emotional Dynamics) CD is a crusade, a cause to which people become committed. It is not neutral (like process) but carries an emotional charge; one is either for it or against it. It is dedicated to progress, as a philosophic and not a scientific concept, since progress must be viewed with reference to values and goals which differ under different political and social systems. CD as a movement tends to become institutionalized, building up its own organizational structure, accepted procedures and professional practitioners. It stresses and promotes the idea of community development as interpreted by its devotees.  Source: I.T. Sanders (1958). From Christenson, Fendley and Robinson (1989). It i s important to note that there i s n o single v i e w o f c o m m u n i t y development a n d definitions o f C D differ depending o n the profession. Psychologists for example, have their o w n interpretation o f c o m m u n i t y development w h i c h i s s i m i l a r but not the same as c o m m u n i t y planners, w h i c h i n turn is s i m i l a r to but not the same as social workers.  28  3.3  E m p o w e r m e n t and C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t " C o m m u n i t y development is about empowerment. It assumes that c o m m u n i t i e s have the  latent potential to identify and act u p o n their o w n issues, w i t h o n l y m i n i m a l outside interference." ( H a n n i s , 1988). I n this statement, H a n n i s equates c o m m u n i t y development to empowerment. W h i l e c o m m u n i t y development and empowerment share c o m m o n elements, contrary to what H a n n i s says, c o m m u n i t y development s h o u l d not be confused w i t h empowerment. E m p o w e r m e n t at the i n d i v i d u a l , interpersonal, organisational and societal levels, l o o k s at the distribution o f p o w e r and h o w an i n d i v i d u a l or a group can attain p o w e r o r change p o w e r structures. M e a n w h i l e , c o m m u n i t y development, as described b y C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , " i m p l i e s improvement, g r o w t h a n d change" w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y whether it relates to government p o l i c i e s , e c o n o m i c activities or institution b u i l d i n g (Christenson, F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , 1989). W h i l e c o m m u n i t y development encompasses m a n y aspects o f e m p o w e r m e n t , e m p o w e r m e n t is o n l y one element o f m a n y i n c o m m u n i t y development. A s m e n t i o n e d b y F l o r i n and W a n d e r s m a n , a n d Rappaport, " e m p o w e r m e n t is a m e c h a n i s m b y w h i c h people, organizations, and c o m m u n i t i e s g a i n mastery over their affairs." ( F l o r i n and W a n d e r s m a n , 1990 a n d Rappaport, 1987). It is m y contention that empowerment is a t o o l or process that is used i n c o m m u n i t y development and c o m m u n i t y kitchens are used i n this thesis to explore this n o t i o n .  3.4  T h e F r a m e w o r k to be Tested T h e f r a m e w o r k that w i l l be used to test the effectiveness o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens as an  e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l i n c o m m u n i t y development is based o n the "ladder o f e m p o w e r m e n t " that was p r o d u c e d b y E l i z a b e t h M . R o c h a . T h i s f r a m e w o r k was designed to be used s p e c i f i c a l l y b y planners  29  w h o s e w o r k focuses o n e c o n o m i c development, c o m m u n i t y participation, a n d grassroots coalitions, f o r m e d around the p r o v i s i o n o f goods and services ( R o c h a , 1997). R o c h a ' s ladder o f empowerment defines five types o f e m p o w e r m e n t that m o v e s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l to c o m m u n i t y empowerment. A s mentioned b y R o c h a (1997), the arrangement o f the ladder is not to suggest that one type o f empowerment is better than another, but rather that the ladder m o v e s f r o m i n d i v i d u a l to c o m m u n i t y empowerment b y b u i l d i n g o n the o u t c o m e f r o m the previous step. T h e basis for R o c h a ' s argument is that for c o m m u n i t y e m p o w e r m e n t to occur, i n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t must take place first. T h e five types o f empowerment as described b y R o c h a (1997) are: T y p e one - atomistic i n d i v i d u a l empowerment: C o n s i d e r e d the traditional understanding o f e m p o w e r m e n t , this type o f empowerment focuses o n the i n d i v i d u a l . E m p o w e r m e n t is achieved b y p r o v i d i n g the i n d i v i d u a l w i t h increased c o p i n g s k i l l s (or life s k i l l s ) to alter the e m o t i o n a l or p h y s i c a l state o f the i n d i v i d u a l . T y p e t w o - embedded i n d i v i d u a l empowerment: T h i s f o r m o f e m p o w e r m e n t also focuses o n the i n d i v i d u a l but the emphasis is o n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s environment and its effect o n the person. T h e most important setting for this type o f empowerment is the organisation a n d h o w the i n d i v i d u a l relates to others i n that structure, what role the i n d i v i d u a l is a l l o w e d to o c c u p y , a n d h o w m u c h d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p o w e r he or she actually possesses. T y p e three - mediated empowerment: T h i s type o f empowerment is h i g h l y professionalised. E m p o w e r m e n t i n this f o r m , is mediated b y an expert or professional a n d the focus is o n the i n d i v i d u a l , the c o m m u n i t y , or both. T h e professional provides the i n d i v i d u a l or c o m m u n i t y w i t h the k n o w l e d g e a n d i n f o r m a t i o n required for i n d i v i d u a l or c o m m u n i t y d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g a n d action.  30  T y p e four - s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l empowerment: T h i s f o r m o f e m p o w e r m e n t is based o n "transformative p o p u l i s m " , where the focus o f c o m m u n i t y development is to develop "the people w h o c o m p r i s e the c o m m u n i t y as the first priority, then . . . the p h y s i c a l development o f the neighbourhoods i n w h i c h people l i v e . " ( R o c h a , 1997). T h e emphasis o f s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l e m p o w e r m e n t is to challenge a n d change the c o m m u n i t y ' s s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , or e c o n o m i c relations i n a w a y that w i l l benefit its inhabitants. T y p e five - p o l i t i c a l empowerment: T h e focus o f this type o f e m p o w e r m e n t is o n the c o m m u n i t y (usually a m a r g i n a l i s e d group) where a c o m m u n i t y is " a network o f l i k e - m i n d e d i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h or w i t h o u t a geographic d i m e n s i o n as its defining characteristic" ( R o c h a , 1997). T h e process o f e m p o w e r m e n t here, is p o l i t i c a l action through institutional change a n d the fight for e x p a n d e d access to resources s u c h as: education, h o u s i n g , e m p l o y m e n t , government representation, etc. I n d i v i d u a l s are e m p o w e r e d through changes that are made for the benefit o f the c o m m u n i t y . R o c h a ' s (1997) description o f empowerment is s i m i l a r to R i s t o c k a n d P e n n e l l ' s (1995). R e v i s i t i n g R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l ' s (1995) definition, similarities are observed. T a b l e 3.2  Empowerment Types  Rocha (1997) Type one: atomistic individual empowerment Type two: embedded individual empowerment Type three: mediated empowerment Type four: socio-political empowerment  Type five: political empowerment  Ristock and Pennell (1995) Individual empowerment: drawing on inner strength to take control of a situation and assert oneself. Interpersonal empowerment: sharing resources for mutual benefit or working together co-operatively. Professionalised empowerment: facilitating and collaborating rather than prescribing and treating. Organisational empowerment: working democratically, participating equally, and sharing in decision-making and policy development in the work environment. Societal empowerment: political activity that ranges from individual acts of political resistance to mass political mobilisation aimed at changing the nature and distribution of power in our society.  31  B a s e d o n these t w o sets o f definitions, a f r a m e w o r k to test e m p o w e r m e n t has been adapted f r o m R o c h a ' s (1997) ladder o f empowerment. T h i s f r a m e w o r k was created to d i s t i n g u i s h between the five types o f empowerment and is used i n this thesis to assess to w h i c h l e v e l o f e m p o w e r m e n t a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n m a y have reached. T a b l e 3.3  Locus  Empowerment Framework. Embedded, Atomistic, Interpersonal Individual • individual • individual  Goals  • •  Processes  • •  personal satisfaction increased coping ability  life skills self-help  • •  • • •  personal satisfaction competence in negotiating daily environment participation sharing resources cooperation  Mediated, Professional • individual • community • knowledge and information for proper decision making  •  facilitating and collaborating  Socio-political, Organisational • individual • community • individual development • expanded access to community resources • community benefits • organisational participation • collaborative grassroots action • working democratically • participating equally • sharing in decision-making  Political, Societal •  community  •  expanded access to community services, goods and rights community benefits political action, voting, protest political representation  • • •  Adapted from Rocha (1997) and Ristock and Pennell (1995).  T h e locus i s the intended arena o f change. T h e goals are the intended outcomes o f each e m p o w e r m e n t type and the processes refers to a variety o f methods that m i g h t be used to reach these goals. T o assess the l e v e l o f empowerment reached, the processes a n d outcomes o f each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n w i l l be reviewed. T h i s framework w i l l be used as a b e n c h m a r k , to test whether, and to what l e v e l , c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r its participants.  32  3.5  Conclusion T h e focus o f this chapter was to define the concepts o f e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y  development as it is b e i n g used for this thesis. M a n y d i s c i p l i n e s s u c h as p s y c h o l o g y , s o c i a l w o r k and s o c i o l o g y discuss empowerment and c o m m u n i t y development, but each f i e l d has its o w n unique interpretation o f these t w o ideas. E m p o w e r m e n t as defined i n this thesis has m a n y definitions. G e n e r a l l y , e m p o w e r m e n t is defined as a process that i n d i v i d u a l s undertake to i m p r o v e their s o c i a l , e c o n o m i c a n d p o l i t i c a l situations. H o w e v e r , the concept o f empowerment is c o m p l e x a n d the d e f i n i t i o n o f e m p o w e r m e n t c a n change depending o n the intended target. W i t h i n this thesis, definitions w e r e p r o v i d e d to define e m p o w e r m e n t from several levels ranging from the i n d i v i d u a l to society i n general. T h e issue o f c o m m u n i t y development is just as c o m p l e x . I n this thesis, c o m m u n i t y development is described as the betterment o f people b y people, through change that contributes to a c o m m u n i t y ' s s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c w e l l - b e i n g . Ideally, development occurs t h r o u g h s o c i a l a c t i o n that is a c h i e v e d through the c o m m u n i t y ' s o w n efforts. F i n a l l y , i n this chapter, an empowerment framework was adapted to assess the l e v e l o f e m p o w e r m e n t a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n has attained. U s e d as a benchmark, the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n ' s e m p o w e r m e n t processes and outcomes are observed a n d r e v i e w e d against the framework  framework.  The  is a p p l i e d to the case studies and is discussed i n Chapter F i v e . T h e next chapter,  Chapter F o u r , introduces the c o m m u n i t y kitchens that were selected for the case studies.  33  Chapter Four Introduction to the Case Studies: Descriptions  4.0  Introduction C o m m u n i t y kitchens i n V a n c o u v e r gather for a variety o f reasons a n d their n u m b e r s  c o n t i n u e to rise. A higher p r o f i l e i n the c i t y t h r o u g h the m e d i a a n d at c o m m u n i t y events (i.e. c o m m u n i t y booths) has contributed to the k i t c h e n s ' p o p u l a r i t y . I n recent years, c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s have d o u b l e d , increasing f r o m twenty i n 1996 to forty i n 1998. T h e purpose o f this chapter is to p r o v i d e a n i n t r o d u c t i o n to the s e v e n c o m m u n i t y kitchens p r o f i l e d for the case studies. T h e selection o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s w a s based o n the f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a : the length o f t i m e the group has/had been c o o k i n g together, the s o c i a l m a k e u p o f the g r o u p , and the l o c a t i o n . A cross-section o f n e w e r and o l d e r groups w a s d e s i r e d to c o m p a r e a n d contrast group d y n a m i c s . Participants o f a l l ages f r o m a l l s o c i a l i n c o m e s w e r e also targeted to observe h o w a n d w h y c o m m u n i t y kitchens w e r e b e i n g used. F i n a l l y , a s e l e c t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f r o m across the c i t y w e r e considered to determine the effect o f l o c a t i o n . A b r i e f h i s t o r y w a s w r i t t e n for each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . C o m m o n elements s u c h as s i m i l a r o r g a n i s a t i o n a l procedures and goals have also been described.  4.1  Histories  The Barclay M a n o r Bread Burners T h e B a r c l a y M a n o r B r e a d B u r n e r s has been c o o k i n g for five years at B a r c l a y M a n o r i n the W e s t E n d o f V a n c o u v e r , and is e x c l u s i v e l y for senior m e n . T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n finances i t s e l f a n d is m o r e l i k e a c o o k i n g c l u b but identifies i t s e l f as a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . T h e B a r c l a y  34  M a n o r B r e a d B u r n e r s are a v e r y s o c i a l group a n d the act o f eating together is as i m p o r t a n t as the c o o k i n g o f the m e a l . T h e coordinator for the B r e a d B u r n e r s s a i d that the m a i n p r i o r i t y f o r the g r o u p a n d the reason w h y he started it is "to get senior m e n , s u c h as m y s e l f , out o f the h o u s e . " P a r t i c i p a n t s often socialise outside o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . S o m e m e m b e r s have f o r m e d a h i k i n g c l u b w h i l e others meet for coffee or for w a l k s . A s one m e m b e r m e n t i o n e d , " I t ' s a g o o d t h i n g for a n exchange o f ideas, a n d i t ' s also a s o c i a l t h i n g . "  D o w n t o w n Eastside C o m m u n i t y Kitchens: Pacific Hotel B e f o r e d i s c u s s i n g the D o w n t o w n Eastside C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s p r o g r a m ( D E C K ) , a d e s c r i p t i o n o f V a n c o u v e r ' s D o w n t o w n Eastside is necessary.  T h i s is not to say that the l o c a t i o n s  o f other c o m m u n i t y kitchens are not w o r t h y for d i s c u s s i o n , but the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c issues that affect the D o w n t o w n E a s t s i d e s h o u l d be noted. T h e D o w n t o w n E a s t s i d e is c o n s i d e r e d to be the poorest n e i g h b o u r h o o d i n C a n a d a . A total o f 16,076 p e o p l e , or 3 . 1 % o f V a n c o u v e r ' s p o p u l a t i o n l i v e i n the area that is b o u n d e d b y C h i n a t o w n o n one side a n d h i s t o r i c G a s t o w n o n the other. U s e d needles litter the streets a n d the sale o f cocaine, crack a n d h e r o i n is prevalent. P r o s t i t u t i o n is also c o m m o n a n d the area is k n o w n for the n u m b e r o f u n s o l v e d disappearances a n d m u r d e r s o f w o m e n w h o have w a l k e d its streets. T h e average m e d i a n h o u s e h o l d i n c o m e is $ 1 0 , 5 8 6 a n d the area contains 7 7 . 9 % o f V a n c o u v e r ' s single r o o m o c c u p a n c y ( S R O ) units. ( M u l g r e w , 1998). I n the s u m m e r o f 1996, the D o w n t o w n E a s t s i d e R e s i d e n t s A s s o c i a t i o n ( D E R A ) c o n d u c t e d a survey to see i f there w a s a need for c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n the n e i g h b o u r h o o d ' s s i n g l e - r o o m o c c u p a n c y hotels ( S R O s ) . M a n y o f the S R O r o o m s d o not have k i t c h e n s i n their units a n d hotplates (because o f fire b y l a w s ) are not a l l o w e d . T h e results f r o m the s u r v e y  i d e n t i f i e d a need f o r c o m m u n i t y kitchens a n d support f r o m l o c a l organisations w a s i n d i c a t e d . S u p p o r t w a s strong because w h i l e there are a n u m b e r o f k i t c h e n s i n o p e r a t i o n i n the d o w n t o w n eastside, they w e r e not accessible to the p o p u l a t i o n l i v i n g i n the S R O s . I n M a r c h 1997, the 1  D o w n t o w n E a s t s i d e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s p r o g r a m ( D E C K ) , a p i l o t project, w a s i m p l e m e n t e d and s i x c o m m u n i t y kitchens were established i n the f o l l o w i n g hotels: C e n t r a l R e s i d e n c e , D o d s o n H o t e l , O p p e n h e i m e r P a r k , the P a c i f i c H o t e l , P e n d e i r a H o t e l a n d T e l l i e r T o w e r s . A s part o f this p r o g r a m , ten volunteers were trained as coordinators b y the N e i g h b o u r h o o d H e l p e r s Project, the C a r n e g i e C e n t r e , a n d C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s . F u n d i n g w a s p r o v i d e d b y the V a n c o u v e r H e a l t h D e p a r t m e n t to purchase basic k i t c h e n a n d f o o d supplies. T h e V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k also f u n d e d the k i t c h e n t h r o u g h the p r o v i s i o n o f f o o d . T h e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n at the P a c i f i c H o t e l w a s i n o p e r a t i o n u n t i l the e n d o f 1997. It has recently b e e n restarted w i t h leftover funds donated b y v a r i o u s organisations to D E C K . A s o f M a y 17, 1998 the k i t c h e n has been operating once a w e e k (except d u r i n g welfare w e e k ) , o n S u n d a y s . T h e k i t c h e n receives a n average o f twenty to t w e n t y - f i v e participants ( a l l o f w h o m are o n s o c i a l assistance), a p p r o x i m a t e l y o n e - t h i r d o f the hotel's p o p u l a t i o n . T h e n u m b e r s fluctuate 2  d e p e n d i n g o n the t i m e o f the m o n t h but the coordinator has f o u n d that the c l o s e r the w e e k i s to the welfare cheque issue date, the greater the n u m b e r o f participants. M o s t o f the m e m b e r s are m a l e but one-fifth o f the k i t c h e n i s f e m a l e a n d n i n e t y percent o f the participants return e a c h 3  week.  Community kitchens in the downtown eastside focus on women, children and families - not the single population that tends to inhabit SROs. Seventy five residents live in the Pacific Hotel. The number of female participants has increased. In thefirstcommunity kitchen at the Pacific Hotel, only 10% of its members were female. 1  2  3  36  Jubilee House C o m m u n i t y Kitchen. T h e J u b i l e e H o u s e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n o r i g i n a l l y b e g a n i n 1995. It w a s i n o p e r a t i o n for t w o years but ceased c o o k i n g i n N o v e m b e r , 1997 because the D o w n t o w n S o u t h J u b i l e e H o u s e H o u s i n g S o c i e t y opened a n e w b u i l d i n g . T h e c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r for the J u b i l e e H o u s e s w a s i n v o l v e d i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n and d i d n ' t have t i m e to organise the k i t c h e n . T h e D o w n t o w n S o u t h J u b i l e e H o u s e H o u s i n g S o c i e t y manages three b u i l d i n g s ; a l l o f w h i c h are s u b s i d i s e d h o u s i n g . T h e r e are three h u n d r e d people w h o l i v e i n the residences.  T h e m a j o r i t y are m e n ( o n l y t h i r t y  w o m e n l i v e there) w h o s e average age i s fifty-five, and a l l o f the residents are o n s o c i a l assistance. T h e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n w a s restarted i n F e b r u a r y , 1998. S o m e o f the o r i g i n a l m e m b e r s s t i l l attend but there are a n u m b e r o f n e w participants. There are m o r e p e o p l e i n the s e c o n d k i t c h e n t h a n there w e r e i n the first and a f e w female participants (there w e r e n o w o m e n i n the first k i t c h e n ) . T h e o r i g i n a l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n h a d eight m e m b e r s from the t w o operating 4  houses w h i l e the current k i t c h e n has a p p r o x i m a t e l y t w e l v e m e m b e r s (the same t w e l v e d o not a l w a y s attend) f r o m a l l three houses.  Kiwassa Canning Kitchen T h e K i w a s s a C a n n i n g K i t c h e n has been c o o k i n g for the last f o u r years at K i w a s s a N e i g h b o u r h o o d H o u s e i n East V a n c o u v e r . T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n i s attended m o s t l y b y i m m i g r a n t w o m e n and the sole purpose o f the k i t c h e n i s to preserve f o o d to store at h o m e .  The Jubilee House Community Kitchen coordinator noted that female residents are not as interested in participating in the kitchen or in cooking activities in general. He believes that this is because most of these women were usually the primary homemakers in the past. Many of these women were in abusive situations and cooking reminds them of their troubled history.  4  37  F o o d items are f u n d e d t h r o u g h the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k a n d o c c a s i o n a l l y , recipes are adapted to take advantage o f the fruits a n d vegetables a v a i l a b l e . I n the past, the k i t c h e n also r e c e i v e d support i n the f o r m o f j a r s , l i d s , etc. f r o m B e r n a r d i n L t d . , a c a n n i n g s u p p l y c o m p a n y . O t h e r sources o f f u n d i n g i n c l u d e B C H o t h o u s e a n d private donations. T h e k i t c h e n is a c t i v e l y p u r s u i n g ideas to sustain i t s e l f f i n a n c i a l l y . D e p e n d i n g o n the session, a surplus o f canned goods are sometimes available. W i t h the h e l p o f the c o o r d i n a t o r o f the k i t c h e n , a n d V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n C o o r d i n a t o r , the group i s h o p i n g to s e l l their c a n n e d items to l o c a l b e d a n d breakfasts and/or shops to generate a n i n c o m e .  S L I C K : (St. James L a d i e s ' International C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ) T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is e x c l u s i v e l y f o r w o m e n a n d has been i n o p e r a t i o n since September, 1997. T h e r e are ten w o m e n w h o participate from n e i g h b o u r h o o d s across Greater V a n c o u v e r . C o o k i n g takes place at St. James C o m m u n i t y Square i n the w e s t side o f V a n c o u v e r ( K i t s i l a n o ) . T h e focus o f the k i t c h e n is o n gourmet c o o k i n g . T h e g r o u p does not eat together (because they meet at night) but often finishes the session w i t h a glass o f w i n e at a l o c a l p u b . S i m i l a r to the B r e a d B u r n e r s , this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is also self-sufficient i n terms o f f i n a n c i n g . B e c a u s e the emphasis is o n " g o u r m e t c o o k i n g " , c o o k i n g expenses are s l i g h t l y higher. O n average, grocery costs range f r o m $10 - $14 per session. T h e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n does not operate out o f n e e d but is u s e d b y its m e m b e r s to socialise a n d save t i m e . S L I C K p u b l i s h e s its o w n newsletter a n d has o r g a n i s e d several " f o o d e x p l o r a t i o n s " to Seattle a n d the O k a n a g a n for w i n e tours a n d f o o d tastings. S L I C K ' s c o o r d i n a t o r , i s a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d w i t h V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s a n d is w o r k i n g w i t h K a r e n B a r n a b y , a l o c a l  38  c h e f a n d V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s C o o r d i n a t o r , to create a c o o k b o o k featuring recipes u s e d b y V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens.  Y o u n g M o m s and Y o u n g M o m s T o B e C o m m u n i t y Kitchen. T h e Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n is part o f the H e a l t h i e s t B a b i e s P o s s i b l e P r o g r a m a n d has been c o o k i n g since F e b r u a r y 1997. Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e is a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n for pregnant teenagers a n d y o u n g mothers at r i s k . T h e participants receive s o c i a l assistance a n d the purpose o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is to ensure that these y o u n g w o m e n (pregnant or not) receive at least one nutritious m e a l a w e e k . P a r t i c i p a n t s o f this p r o g r a m are also i n v o l v e d i n the G o o d F o o d B a g P r o g r a m sponsored b y V a n c o u v e r ' s F o o d B a n k , v a r i o u s grocers a n d independent donors. T h e purpose o f the p r o g r a m is to d e l i v e r a b a g o f f o o d to e a c h participant once a m o n t h , the w e e k before welfare cheques are due, to ensure that b o t h the m o t h e r a n d the b a b y has access to nutritious f o o d . T h e Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e is part o f the H e a l t h i e s t B a b i e s P o s s i b l e p r o g r a m w h i c h is sponsored b y a $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 a n n u a l grant f r o m H e a l t h C a n a d a . T h e p r e m i s e b e h i n d H e a l t h i e s t B a b i e s P o s s i b l e is to i m p r o v e f o o d security for y o u n g mothers at r i s k (and their babies). I n a d d i t i o n to the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , the grant also covers the operating costs o f the G o o d F o o d B a g , a F i r s t N a t i o n s P r e - N a t a l H e a l i n g C i r c l e a n d the c o o r d i n a t o r ' s salary.  The  V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k also supports this p r o g r a m .  39  Y W C A Crabtree C o r n e r T h e Y W C A Crabtree C o r n e r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n has been c o o k i n g for n e a r l y f i v e years. T h e k i t c h e n meets at Crabtree C o r n e r i n V a n c o u v e r ' s d o w n t o w n eastside. T h e g r o u p consists p r i m a r i l y of, but is not l i m i t e d to, native w o m e n . T h i s k i t c h e n is u n i q u e because it is m u l t i generational. T h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' ages range f r o m under eighteen to the m i d - f o r t i e s . M o t h e r s h a d i n t r o d u c e d their daughters to the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . T h e daughters i n t u r n j o i n e d a n d b r o u g h t their c h i l d r e n to the nursery a n d daycare located at Crabtree C o r n e r . T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is funded b y V a n c o u v e r ' s F o o d B a n k a n d t h r o u g h c o m m u n i t y p r o g r a m s at Crabtree C o r n e r . T h e group b o t h eats together a n d b r i n g s m e a l s h o m e to their f a m i l i e s . A n i m p o r t a n t aspect o f the m e a l h o w e v e r , is the " s m u d g i n g " that takes p l a c e before 5  the g r o u p sits d o w n to eat. W h i l e the group was o r i g i n a l l y brought together for f i n a n c i a l reasons, it is v e r y s o c i a l a n d m a n y o f the m e m b e r s socialise outside o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n b y h a v i n g coffee, or l o o k i n g after one another's c h i l d r e n .  4.2  C o o k i n g a n d O r g a n i s a t i o n a l Processes E x c e p t for J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d S L I C K ( w h i c h b o t h c o o k once a m o n t h ) , a l l o f the  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s d e s c r i b e d above meet o n a w e e k l y b a s i s . I n general, m o s t o f the 6  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f o l l o w the same pattern where h a l f the group c o o k s the m e a l s w h i l e the other h a l f p l a n s the next session (these p o s i t i o n s are u s u a l l y rotated either w e e k l y o r m o n t h l y ) . R e c i p e s are selected a n d ingredients are w r i t t e n d o w n a n d g i v e n to either the c o o r d i n a t o r or a  "Smudging" is an aboriginal ritual of using the smoke from burning herbs to cleanse the body, an object, or a given area of negative influences. The Pacific Hotel community kitchen is also an exception. It cooks once a week except during welfare cheque week. 5  6  40  designated person. C o o r d i n a t o r s i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens that folly r e l y o n f u n d i n g u s u a l l y fax their list to V a n c o u v e r ' s F o o d B a n k a f e w days before the group is supposed to c o o k a n d m i s s i n g ingredients are p u r c h a s e d ( w i t h m o n e y f r o m f u n d i n g or d o n o r organisations) one or t w o days before the c o o k i n g session. I n the J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d the P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , ingredients are l o w i n cost because the recipes are u s u a l l y quite s i m p l e . T h e participants i n these t w o k i t c h e n s prefer hearty "meat a n d potato" type dishes that are easy to prepare but are a break f r o m " l i n e - u p " f o o d (soups a n d sandwiches served i n soup kitchens). S o m e c o m m u n i t y kitchens p a r t i a l l y or f u l l y finance themselves.  I n these c o m m u n i t y  k i t c h e n s , a p e r s o n is designated (either a permanent or rotated p o s i t i o n ) to delegate the o r g a n i s a t i o n a l tasks. I n some kitchens, the grocery list is d i v i d e d a m o n g the g r o u p m e m b e r s a n d the cost o f the meals are t a l l i e d at the end o f the next c o o k i n g session. U s u a l l y , a p a r t i a l l y f u n d e d k i t c h e n has a designated p e r s o n to c o l l e c t m o n e y at each session for extra ingredients. D e p e n d i n g o n the k i t c h e n , the cost o f ingredients w i l l v a r y . A p a r t i a l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n m i g h t ask its participants to contribute a d o l l a r whereas a gourmet k i t c h e n s u c h as S L I C K , c a n r u n tabs as h i g h as fourteen d o l l a r s (per person). T h e a m o u n t o f f o o d prepared w i l l also vary. I n some c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , o n l y one m e a l is c o o k e d w h i l e i n other c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , a w e e k o f meals m i g h t be prepared. E a c h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is different a n d the w a y i n w h i c h they operate is u s u a l l y d e c i d e d t h r o u g h a consensus d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process.  41  4.3  Goals The community kitchens in the case studies share similar reasons for operating their  community kitchens. The researcher identified three goals that were common to all of the above community kitchens. They are: •  to provide an opportunity for participants to socialise;  •  to provide access to nutritious meals;  •  to provide participants the opportunity to learn new skills.  The first goal is particularly important to community kitchens whose participants tend to isolate themselves and have difficulty communicating and cooperating with others. The coordinators for the Jubilee House and Pacific Hotel, both mentioned that their community kitchens were formed to help participants break their feelings of isolation. Other community kitchens such as the Barclay Manor Bread Burners and SLICK use cooking as an opportunity to socialise and their kitchens were formed to fill a social need. The second goal identified was to provide access to nutritious meals. This is an important goal for participants whose access to food is insecure. Certain populations (such as single seniors who need to be motivated to cook or pregnant teenagers who do not know what or how to cook) are at greater risk than others, and community kitchens can be used to reach these groups. The final goal focuses on learning. Coordinators mentioned that a number of skills can be learned by participating in a community kitchen. In a community kitchen, participants work together to create an end product that they can enjoy while learning through a process of doing.  42  4.4  Conclusion In this chapter, seven c o m m u n i t y kitchens w e r e selected as case studies f r o m a p o s s i b l e  forty. A b r i e f h i s t o r y o f each w a s p r o v i d e d to place the thesis i n context. T h e case studies v a r i e d a great deal but c o m m o n elements s u c h as the c o o k i n g a n d o r g a n i s a t i o n a l processes, a n d goals w e r e s i m i l a r . T h e c o m m u n i t y kitchens gathered to s o c i a l i s e , create better access to n u t r i t i o u s f o o d , a n d p r o v i d e a n o p p o r t u n i t y for people to learn. I n the next chapter, the results f r o m researching the case studies are presented. T h e research explores h o w c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r their participants, a n d the opportunities a n d constraints to u s i n g c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f u s i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens to foster c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t is also e x a m i n e d .  43  Chapter Five Research Findings and Analysis  5.0  Introduction T h i s chapter discusses a n d analyses the research f i n d i n g s . I n f o r m a t i o n for the case  studies w a s gathered b y u s i n g three different research methods w h i c h w e r e : p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s a n d a survey. A s m e n t i o n e d i n C h a p t e r O n e , participant o b s e r v a t i o n w a s u s e d to scope the research w h i l e the researcher c o o k e d w i t h the k i t c h e n participants a n d d u r i n g leaders w o r k s h o p s . K e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders (please refer to A p p e n d i x I for k e y i n f o r m a n t s a n d A p p e n d i x II f o r 1  the i n t e r v i e w questions) a n d a survey (please refer to A p p e n d i x III f o r the questionnaire) w a s p o l l e d a m o n g participants to compare and contrast their answers w i t h the leaders. T h e purpose o f this chapter is to identify h o w V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r their participants a n d to analyse the use o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l i n c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t . T h e first part o f this chapter presents the f i n d i n g s w h i l e the s e c o n d h a l f discusses h o w c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r a n d i f they c a n be u s e d to enhance c o m m u n i t y development.  It should be noted that community kitchen leaders and coordinators are the same. Usually, a leader has been designated by the community kitchen group whereas a coordinator has been appointed by a program or person outside the community kitchen. A distinction however, needs to be made when the author mentions Vancouver's Community Kitchens Coordinator. As mentioned in Chapter Two, Vancouver's Community Kitchens Coordinator acts as a link for all the community kitchens in Vancouver and is hired by Vancouver's Community Kitchens' Advisory Board. 1  44  5.1  The processes of empowerment in community kitchens From the case studies, a number of empowerment processes were identified. Community  kitchen leaders were asked to describe how participants were empowered and what skills were learned. They mentioned that participants were empowered by learning the following life skills: communication, self-help, and social networking. Leaders also mentioned that participants were empowered by gaining confidence and self-esteem. Similar responses were provided by the participants in the surveys when asked what skills they had learned and what they gained from their community kitchen experiences.  5.1.1 Learning life skills Life skills are the skills that people use on a daily basis to cope with everyday living. The ability to communicate, help oneself (self-help) and socialise are important life skills because they help individuals become self-reliant.  Communication: In the survey, when asked (in an open-ended question) to identify what skills the participant had learned from his/her community kitchen group, 3% mentioned that he/she had learned to communicate. However, when asked on a scale of one to five how comfortable participants felt about expressing their feelings (one meaning uncomfortable and five meaning very comfortable), close to half (44%) of the respondents said that they were "very comfortable".  45  F i g u r e 5.1  H o w c o m f o r t a b l e d o y o u feel about e x p r e s s i n g y o u r f e e l i n g s , e v e n feelings about people i n the group?  Very safe  Unsafe  T h e survey also t r i e d to assess h o w w e l l the group c o m m u n i c a t e s . W h e n a s k e d o n a scale o f one to f i v e h o w w e l l the group c o m m u n i c a t e s w i t h each other (one m e a n i n g c o m m u n i c a t e s p o o r l y a n d f i v e m e a n i n g c o m m u n i c a t e s w e l l ) , 4 4 % o f the participants a n s w e r e d that their group c o m m u n i c a t e s w e l l . N o o n e s a i d that their group c o m m u n i c a t e s p o o r l y .  F i g u r e 5.2  H o w w e l l does the group c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h e a c h other?  45%40%35%. 30%. 25%. 20%. 15%. 10% 5% 0% Communicates poorly  i  Communicates well  46  While only 3% of the respondents indicated that they had learned to communicate, community kitchens appear to encourage and facilitate communication skills. Over time, leaders noticed that participants who were normally quite shy, had begun to assert themselves once they were comfortable in the kitchen group. This was a rewarding experience for the leaders to see a member express and make real decisions about what he/she wanted to cook. To further encourage communication, some kitchens would use "participatory decision-making" tools. When a decision had to be made, the leader would "go around the table" and ask each member to comment. This ensured that all participants had an opportunity to speak. Heckling was not allowed and it was hoped that this tool would give members the confidence to communicate their ideas.  Self-help: Encouraging participants to learn to help themselves was another goal that leaders had identified. Leaders believe that community kitchens emphasise self-help because they are "an alternate method of feeding people in a dignified self directed manner." According to one leader, "The difference with community kitchens is that it is not a handout. Nobody, even the poorest people want a handout. To be able to participate in producing the end product and being able to enjoy it is such a sense of accomplishment. It's also a sense of giving back so they don't feel like they are a burden to the system. They are actually contributing toward making their lives better. It's about people coming together and creating community but also [about] being able to look after yourself in a way that you may not have been able to do in any other way."  47  T h e B a r c l a y M a n o r B r e a d B u r n e r s described a situation where self-help w a s u s e d to e m p o w e r a participant that h a d been d i s e m p o w e r e d . T h i s m e m b e r , a n active p a r t i c i p a n t w i t h i n the g r o u p , h a d suffered a stroke a n d w a s left w i t h p a r t i a l use o f h i s left a r m . A f t e r r e c o v e r i n g at h o m e a n d l e a r n i n g to l i v e w i t h h i s p a r a l y s i s , he returned to the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n to i n f o r m h i s peers that he d i d not t h i n k he w o u l d be able to continue c o o k i n g w i t h t h e m ; a thought that d i d not please h i m . T h e group h o w e v e r , thought otherwise. A l t h o u g h he c o u l d not w o r k as q u i c k l y as before, they b e l i e v e d he c o u l d s t i l l contribute a n d he was g i v e n tasks that d i d not require the use o f b o t h hands ( s u c h as m i x i n g ingredients). A sense o f a c c o m p l i s h m e n t w a s a c h i e v e d w h i c h e n c o u r a g e d this m e m b e r to continue to participate i n the k i t c h e n . H e a d m i t s that this experience has also g i v e n h i m the confidence to take b a c k h i s l i f e i n other areas as w e l l . I n another case, a f e w o f the participants i n the Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n have m e n t i o n e d to their coordinator that they are p l a n n i n g to further their e d u c a t i o n i n careers related to f o o d . A n u m b e r o f these y o u n g w o m e n have not f i n i s h e d h i g h s c h o o l but because o f the s k i l l s learned a n d the confidence g a i n e d i n the g r o u p , they b e l i e v e they w i l l succeed because they enjoy l e a r n i n g i n the k i t c h e n . S o m e o f the w o m e n h a v e already t a k e n courses (ranging f r o m i n c o m e tax, to first a i d a n d sewing) that were offered at C e d a r Cottage N e i g h b o u r h o o d H o u s e where the k i t c h e n is located. T h e p r o g r a m directors at the N e i g h b o u r h o o d H o u s e have made a p o i n t o f letting the w o m e n k n o w o f other house activities. E x p o s u r e to the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n has p o s i t i v e l y affected other areas o f their l i v e s .  48  Social Networks: A c o m m o n g o a l shared b y m a n y c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s is to p r o v i d e a n o p p o r t u n i t y f o r participants to s o c i a l i s e a n d create networks. W h e n asked w h y c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders h a d f o r m e d their groups, the m o s t c o m m o n reason w a s to create a n o p p o r t u n i t y to s o c i a l i s e .  As  m e n t i o n e d b y one o f the coordinators, " M y g o a l is to get the g i r l s out o f the house a n d i n t o a p l a c e w h e r e they c a n interact w i t h each other because it is r e a l l y h a r d for y o u n g w o m e n that are pregnant and/or parenting to have any k i n d o f s o c i a l l i f e . T h i s w a y they c a n . T h e y c o m e , they b r i n g their k i d s , t h e y ' r e interacting w i t h each other, a n d t h e y ' r e t a l k i n g about their pregnancies, c h i l d care a n d e v e r y t h i n g . F o r some o f t h e m , this is the o n l y o p p o r t u n i t y they get to m i n g l e w i t h y o u n g w o m e n their o w n age. A c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n also p r o v i d e s consistency. B e i n g pregnant, g o i n g t h r o u g h l a b o u r a n d h a v i n g a b a b y is s u c h an u p h e a v a l i n these g i r l s ' l i v e s . M a n y p e o p l e c o m e a n d go [ i n their lives] but at least the g i r l s c a n count o n the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n happening." T h e survey respondents e c h o e d this objective. A l t h o u g h a n u m b e r o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n the case studies i n v o l v e p o p u l a t i o n s w h o s e access to f o o d i s s l i g h t l y insecure, o n l y 9 % o f the respondents j o i n e d the k i t c h e n for f o o d w h i l e 1 3 % w a n t e d to save m o n e y (see F i g u r e 5.3). T h e m o s t c o m m o n answer w a s to learn ( 6 3 % ) w h i l e 4 4 % , or j u s t u n d e r h a l f o f the respondents j o i n e d for friendship. I f the percentages for f u n ( 6 % ) a n d f r i e n d s h i p are c o m b i n e d , e x a c t l y h a l f o f the respondents participate i n c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f o r s o c i a l reasons. I n the survey, one o f the participants m e n t i o n e d that it w a s e n c o u r a g i n g for her to be w i t h other s i n g l e mothers. " T h e y are understanding. [It is] g o o d to have someone there to g i v e y o u s u p p o r t . "  49  M a n y o f the leaders b e l i e v e that s o c i a l n e t w o r k s w e r e created a n d the effects h a v e b e e n p o s i t i v e . W h e n respondents were a s k e d i f they had c o n n e c t e d w i t h other p a r t i c i p a n t s , 6 3 % s a i d  F i g u r e 5.4  H a v e y o u connected w i t h other participants? I f so, h o w ?  W h e n asked h o w the m e m b e r s connected, there w e r e m a n y different answers that ranged f r o m c a r p o o l i n g to e x c h a n g i n g parenting tips. A f e w respondents m e n t i o n e d that they e n j o y e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n their c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n because they c o u l d b r i n g their c h i l d r e n (or g r a n d c h i l d r e n ) to the group. A s one participant s a i d , " I learned n e w recipes a n d met other w o m e n a n d m y granddaughter got to meet other k i d s her age." T h e c o o r d i n a t o r at J u b i l e e H o u s e s a w friendships d e v e l o p outside o f the k i t c h e n . " T h e y [participants] started to hang out together w h i c h is a great payoff.  T h e y h a v e started to n e t w o r k  outside o f c o o k i n g . " T h i s w a s also observed i n the P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n w h e r e " p e o p l e w e r e l i v i n g next to each other but d i d n ' t k n o w each other. A lot o f p e o p l e feel isolated a n d this [ c o m m u n i t y kitchens] cured a lot o f [the] loneliness they suffer.  S o m e participants e v e n  got together a n d started s w i t c h i n g r e c i p e s . " T h e P a c i f i c H o t e l c o o r d i n a t o r also m e n t i o n e d that after the k i t c h e n shut d o w n , some o f the participants c o n t i n u e d to c o o k a n d eat together.  After a  w h i l e , this a c t i v i t y w a s not sustained but it indicates the potential o u t c o m e c o m m u n i t y kitchens c a n have i n p a r t i c i p a n t s ' l i v e s .  Other skills A l o n g w i t h a c q u i r i n g c o m m u n i c a t i o n , self-help a n d s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g s k i l l s , a n u m b e r o f other s k i l l s w e r e m e n t i o n e d i n an open-ended q u e s t i o n that asked participants to i d e n t i f y the s k i l l s that they h a d learned. A v a r i e t y o f s k i l l s were i d e n t i f i e d a n d i n one case, a participant s a i d that w i t h w h a t she has learned, she w o u l d eventually l i k e to volunteer for the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s p r o g r a m . I n this case, c o n f i d e n c e w a s gained, but was not i d e n t i f i e d b y the respondent.  51  F i g u r e 5.5  W h a t s k i l l s d o y o u t h i n k y o u ' v e learned f r o m p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s c o m m u n i t y kitchen group?  5.1.2  O t h e r gains A l o n g w i t h l e a r n i n g life s k i l l s , c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n participants w e r e also e m p o w e r e d i n  other w a y s b y g a i n i n g c o n f i d e n c e a n d self-esteem. C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders n o t i c e d i n their participants, i n c r e a s e d l e v e l s o f c o n f i d e n c e a n d self-esteem o v e r t i m e . A s o n e leader s a i d , " I have seen the g i r l s go f r o m b e i n g pregnant a n d insecure i n the k i t c h e n to m a k i n g r e a l d e c i s i o n s about w h a t they w a n t to c o o k and h o w they want to c o o k it. I have seen the g i r l s ' self-esteem a n d c o n f i d e n c e go up as they d e v e l o p m o r e c o o k i n g s k i l l s . It has b e e n a real p o s i t i v e experience." P a r t i c i p a n t s w e r e asked to answer o n a scale o f one to f i v e (one m e a n i n g n o change a n d f i v e m e a n i n g m u c h better) i f they felt better about feeding t h e m s e l v e s and/or their f a m i l i e s since j o i n i n g their c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s .  52  F i g u r e 5.6  D o y o u feel better about feeding y o u r s e l f and/or y o u r f a m i l y since j o i n i n g this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n ?  No change  C l o s e to h a l f (44%)  2  3  4  Much better  felt m u c h better about feeding themselves and/or their f a m i l i e s since  j o i n i n g their c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . O n e respondent s a i d that he h a d g a i n e d m o r e c o n f i d e n c e i n c o o k i n g for h i s w i f e a n d others, a n d w i t h the s k i l l s he has learned, h e i s s u p e r v i s i n g a senior m e n ' s class.  5.1.3  Satisfaction O v e r a l l , b o t h the leaders a n d the participants appeared to b e satisfied w i t h t h e i r  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s . L e a d e r s b e l i e v e d that participants w e r e e m p o w e r e d b y l e a r n i n g l i f e s k i l l s w h i c h l e d to increased c o n f i d e n c e a n d self-esteem.  W h e n a s k e d about t h e i r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s ,  survey respondents s a i d that they were satisfied w i t h their experience. W h e n asked to answer o n a scale o f one to f i v e (one m e a n i n g not at a l l a n d f i v e m e a n i n g c o m p l e t e l y ) , to w h a t extent participants were satisfied w i t h their c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n experience, exactly h a l f o f the participants were c o m p l e t e l y satisfied.  53  F i g u r e 5.7  O n a scale o f 1 -5, to what extent have y o u been satisfied w i t h y o u r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n experience?  Not at all  5.1.4  2  3  4  Completely  P r e s e n t i n g the E m p o w e r m e n t F r a m e w o r k T o observe the w a y s i n w h i c h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s e m p o w e r their p a r t i c i p a n t s , the  f o l l o w i n g f r a m e w o r k (see T a b l e 5.1 - T h e E m p o w e r m e n t F r a m e w o r k ) has b e e n created. It d r a w s out the f i n d i n g s gathered t h r o u g h the interviews a n d surveys a n d is based o n R o c h a ' s ( 1 9 9 7 ) ladder o f e m p o w e r m e n t as presented i n C h a p t e r Three. F r o m the table, it c a n be observed that most o f the e m p o w e r m e n t processes u s e d b y c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n the case studies, were i n d i v i d u a l l y a n d i n t e r p e r s o n a l l y e m p o w e r i n g . H o w e v e r , a f e w c l a r i f i c a t i o n s s h o u l d be made. In p r o f i l i n g the J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , the researcher w o u l d say that b o t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s p r o v i d e their participants w i t h a n o p p o r t u n i t y to learn increased c o p i n g a b i l i t y but at a l e v e l that is not sustained. W h i l e p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , a n u m b e r o f p o s i t i v e l i f e changes w e r e o b s e r v e d , but the participants i n these t w o c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s r e a l l y needed to c o o k  54  c o n t i n u o u s l y i n the c o m m u n i t y kitchens to sustain these p o s i t i v e effects (it s h o u l d be n o t e d that this w a s less o b v i o u s i n J u b i l e e H o u s e than i n the P a c i f i c H o t e l ) . I n the P a c i f i c H o t e l , a n u m b e r o f participants d i d m a k e attempts to c o n t i n u e c o o k i n g as a g r o u p , after the k i t c h e n c l o s e d . W i t h o u t the c o o r d i n a t o r ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d the o r g a n i s a t i o n o f a f o r m a l c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , h o w e v e r , the participants g r a d u a l l y lost m o m e n t u m a n d reverted to their f o r m e r lifestyles. I n the J u b i l e e H o u s e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , the o u t c o m e w a s not so drastic but w h e n the c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r stopped the k i t c h e n ( d u r i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the t h i r d J u b i l e e H o u s e ) , n o n e o f the m e m b e r s offered to take h i s place w h i c h suggests that m e m b e r s are dependent o n the c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r to organise the k i t c h e n . T h e researcher b e l i e v e s that i n b o t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , a greater emphasis c o u l d be p l a c e d o n teaching leadership s k i l l s a n d e n c o u r a g i n g participants to take i n i t i a t i v e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the researcher is aware that teaching s u c h s k i l l s m i g h t not be p o s s i b l e i n some k i t c h e n s ( s u c h as the P a c i f i c H o t e l ) a n d that p a r t i c i p a t i o n for these groups is e n o u g h o f a n achievement.  A s mentioned by Vancouver's C o m m u n i t y Kitchens Coordinator, "for  m a r g i n a l i s e d groups, p a r t i c i p a t i o n alone w i l l increase the p e r s o n ' s confidence.  F r o m there, after  a p e r i o d o f t i m e , the p e r s o n w i l l a c k n o w l e d g e that he/she c a n actually get it together to participate i n his/her o w n w e l l b e i n g . A f t e r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , the p e r s o n w i l l d o j u s t that a n d s l o w l y he/she has been a c h i e v i n g what I t h i n k is the ultimate g o a l o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s . E n c o u r a g i n g p e o p l e to w o r k towards t a k i n g f u l l c o n t r o l o f their w e l l b e i n g . "  55  T a b l e 5.1  The Empowerment Framework  Community Kitchen The Bread Burners  Jubilee House  Kiwassa Canning Group  The Pacific Hotel  SLICK  Young Moms and Young Moms To Be  YWCA Crabtree Corner  •  Empowerment Type individual  • •  •  interpersonal  •  •  individual  •  •  interpersonal  •  Process life skills (self-help, social networking) organisational participation  • • •  life skills (communication, selfhelp, social networking) organisational participation  • •  •  community benefits  •  life skills (self-help, social networking) organisational participation life skills (self-help, social networking) organisational participation  • •  •  individual  • •  •  interpersonal  •  •  individual  • •  •  interpersonal  •  personal satisfaction increased coping ability (not sustainable) community receives services and goods personal satisfaction  community benefits  •  • • •  personal satisfaction social networking organisational participation life skills (communication, selfhelp, social networking) organisational participation social networking organisational participation  •  individual  •  interpersonal  •  individual  • •  •  interpersonal  •  • •  individual interpersonal  • •  community receives services and goods personal satisfaction increased coping ability  o •  • •  Goal personal satisfaction increased coping ability competence in negotiating daily environment personal satisfaction increased coping ability (not sustainable)  • •  personal satisfaction increased coping ability  •  personal satisfaction  O n another note, it is interesting to observe that o f a l l the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n the case studies, the J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d P a c i f i c H o t e l w e r e the m o s t active k i t c h e n s i n r e a c h i n g out to their respective c o m m u n i t i e s . O t h e r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s also m a n a g e d to create a sense o f  56  c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h their kitchens, but their efforts focused o n activities ( s u c h as h i k i n g o r g o i n g for coffee) that i n v o l v e d their o w n groups. C o m m u n i t y efforts m a d e b y J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d the P a c i f i c H o t e l i n v o l v e d people from their c o m m u n i t i e s but w h o w e r e not a part o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , w h i c h s h o w s greater c o m m u n i t y outreach. These efforts w i l l be d i s c u s s e d further i n a later s e c t i o n o f this chapter.  5.2  T h e o u t c o m e o f e m p o w e r m e n t i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens A s m e n t i o n e d i n Chapter T h r e e , e m p o w e r m e n t " i s m o s t often expressed as a n increase i n  p e r s o n a l p o w e r " a n d is defined as "the process o f i n c r e a s i n g p e r s o n a l , interpersonal a n d p o l i t i c a l p o w e r so that i n d i v i d u a l s , f a m i l i e s a n d c o m m u n i t i e s c a n take a c t i o n to i m p r o v e their s i t u a t i o n s . " ( G u t i e r r e z , 1995). A r e v i e w o f the f i n d i n g s s h o w that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s h a v e the greatest i m p a c t o n i n d i v i d u a l s . A s a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l , c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r the i n d i v i d u a l b y p r o v i d i n g a n o p p o r t u n i t y for people to effect changes i n their l i v e s b y l e a r n i n g to c o p e t h r o u g h a "process [that] consists o f altering the e m o t i o n a l or p h y s i c a l state o f the i n d i v i d u a l . " ( R o c h a , 1997). T h e e m p o w e r m e n t processes discussed i n the f i n d i n g s appear to exert e m o t i o n a l change. I n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t is effective w h e n used to address p r o b l e m s that " d o not require alterations i n systems, s o c i a l relations, or structural changes (over w h i c h the i n d i v i d u a l has n o control) for its success." ( R o c h a , 1997). I n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t rarely affects c o m m u n i t y change because it does not address s o c i a l p r o b l e m s . I n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t h o w e v e r , is a n i m p o r t a n t element i n c o m m u n i t y b u i l d i n g because the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the t w o is r e c i p r o c a l l y e n h a n c i n g . A c o m m u n i t y ' s strength is often i n the hands o f its c i t i z e n s , a n d e m p o w e r e d i n d i v i d u a l s are better able to effect c o m m u n i t y change.  57  A s d e s c r i b e d b y K a h n a n d B e n d e r , "self-help groups are rarely c o m m u n i t y o r n e i g h b o r h o o d p o l i t i c a l action-oriented, at least at their i n c e p t i o n . H o w e v e r , at later phases they m a y b e g i n to emulate a n d reproduce some o f these expressions v i a grassroots c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n d u r i n g the formative stages o f s o c i a l d e v e l o p m e n t . "  5.3  ( K a h n a n d B e n d e r , 1985).  T h e potential for u s i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens to foster c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t B a s e d o n the f i n d i n g s , c o m m u n i t y kitchens as it currently operates has l i m i t e d  c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t output but the concept has potential. A n u m b e r o f the c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n the case studies are i n v o l v e d i n activities that benefit the c o m m u n i t y . T h e J u b i l e e H o u s e a n d P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y kitchens are t w o examples. T h e c o o r d i n a t o r o f the J u b i l e e H o u s e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s a i d that operating the k i t c h e n has benefited the J u b i l e e H o u s e c o m m u n i t y . A s part o f the c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r p r o g r a m , the c o o r d i n a t o r o f the k i t c h e n ( w h o is also the c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r ) organises a large c o m m u n i t y d i n n e r i n the m o n t h s that extend over f i v e w e e k s (also k n o w n as the f i v e w e e k w e l f a r e m o n t h ) . T h e d i n n e r is free for the residents but a l l the o r g a n i s a t i o n a n d c o o k i n g is s u p p o s e d to be done b y the p e o p l e w h o l i v e i n the J u b i l e e H o u s e s . T h e dinners are a lot o f w o r k because a p p r o x i m a t e l y seventy or eighty p e o p l e attend but there are often f e w volunteers. H o w e v e r , since the creation o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , the k i t c h e n participants have offered to c o o k the m e a l . T h r o u g h their p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the k i t c h e n , they have g a i n e d confidence, are c o m f o r t a b l e i n the k i t c h e n , a n d k n o w that they have the s k i l l s needed to organise the dinner. E v e n t u a l l y , the m e m b e r s o f the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n began to volunteer for any event that r e q u i r e d f o o d . T h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d i n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t has benefited the c o m m u n i t y as a w h o l e .  T h i s s p i n o f f w a s not expected b y the k i t c h e n coordinator. " T h e t r a n s i t i o n w a s s u r p r i s i n g . T o see t h e m b e c o m e r e a l l y comfortable i n their group and then offer to c o m e a n d v o l u n t e e r for other events. I never w o u l d have i m a g i n e d that this w o u l d o c c u r . " T h e P a c i f i c H o t e l h a d a s i m i l a r effect. I n their case, the participants offered to prepare C h r i s t m a s d i n n e r for the residents i n the S R O . T h e coordinator for this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n has a n u m b e r o f other ideas. E v e n t u a l l y , he w o u l d l i k e to i m p l e m e n t a p r o g r a m w h e r e participants c o o k a n extra m e a l a n d share it w i t h seniors l i v i n g i n the S R O s . M a n y o f the seniors h a v e b e c o m e " s h u t - i n " and have n o m o t i v a t i o n to leave the hotel to access the f o o d b a n k or stand i n l i n e at a soup k i t c h e n . I f participants shared their m e a l s , the seniors w o u l d be f e d a n d the participants w o u l d feel self-reliant. T h e coordinator ( w h o at one p o i n t h a d also l i v e d i n a S R O ) b e l i e v e s that m a n y participants suffer f r o m the "handout p h e n o m e n o n " , w h e r e e v e r y t h i n g i n the d o w n t o w n eastside is a handout. S i n c e the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n b e g a n operating, he has n o t i c e d a boost i n m a n y o f the participants' self-esteem.  I m p l e m e n t i n g this i d e a w o u l d further increase  self-esteem because the participants w o u l d be h e l p i n g others and themselves.  5.4  The role o f Vancouver's C o m m u n i t y Kitchens Coordinator i n community  development  The Vancouver C o m m u n i t y Kitchens Coordinator ( V C K C ) holds an important position 2  a n d c a n p l a y a n important role i n fostering c o m m u n i t y e m p o w e r m e n t a n d d e v e l o p m e n t . f o l l o w R o c h a ' s (1997) d e s c r i p t i o n , the V C K C appears to o c c u p y a m e d i a t e d  If we  empowerment  p o s i t i o n w h e r e e m p o w e r m e n t i n the f o r m o f k n o w l e d g e a n d services are p r o v i d e d b y the  The acronym VCKC will be used in this section to distinguish Vancouver's Community Kitchens Coordinator from the coordinator and/or leader of each individual community kitchen.  2  59  " e x p e r t " ( i n this case it is the V C K C ) a n d used b y the c o m m u n i t y and/or the i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n it. A t present, the V C K C is p r i m a r i l y a resource p e r s o n w h o connects V a n c o u v e r ' s k i t c h e n s to e a c h other a n d to the larger c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n newsletter.  Other  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n c l u d e o r g a n i s i n g w o r k s h o p s for people w h o w o u l d l i k e to start a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n a n d for leaders w h o s e kitchens are already i n place. W o r k s h o p s c o v e r a n u m b e r o f t o p i c s that range f r o m : o r g a n i s i n g a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , to f o o d safety a n d c a n n i n g foods p r o p e r l y , to c o o k i n g ethnic dishes. A n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens w o u l d l i k e to see the V C K C organise w o r k s h o p s o n h o w to access f u n d i n g , grants a n d other monetary sources. A f u n d r a i s i n g scheme is currently b e i n g put together b y the V C K C , l o c a l kitchens, a n d K a r e n B a r n a b y , a h i g h l y esteemed c h e f f r o m V a n c o u v e r . T h e p r o d u c t i o n o f a C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s c o o k b o o k w i t h recipes from l o c a l k i t c h e n s is u n d e r w a y . Tentative plans i n v o l v e W h i t e c a p P u b l i s h i n g . I f the p l a n s go t h r o u g h , W h i t e c a p P u b l i s h i n g has offered C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s a l l its services at cost ( i n c l u d i n g d i s t r i b u t i o n across C a n a d a ) ; profits w i l l be d i v i d e d and/or shared b y V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens. T h e V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s P r o g r a m is currently r e v i s i t i n g the p r o g r a m ' s goals a n d assessing the d i r e c t i o n that they believe the p r o g r a m s h o u l d m o v e t o w a r d . C o o k i n g e q u i p m e n t is the m a i n expense w h e n starting a k i t c h e n a n d once these supplies h a v e b e e n p u r c h a s e d , the V C K C w o u l d l i k e to see the participants contribute a f e w d o l l a r s t o w a r d ingredients. W h e n c o o k i n g i n b u l k , a little bit o f m o n e y c a n go a l o n g w a y (unless g o u r m e t foods are b e i n g prepared). A s a n e x a m p l e , the researcher attended a w o r k s h o p w i t h t w e l v e other  60  p e o p l e , a n d f o u r recipes ( c o r n bread, c h u c k w a g o n casserole, vegetarian lasagne, a n d sweet a n d sour lentils) w e r e prepared i n four hours to feed t w e n t y p e o p l e ( w i t h leftovers). A f e w o f the ingredients w e r e p u r c h a s e d i n b u l k (for e x a m p l e , the lentils) a n d the cost o f the m e a l c a m e to $ 6 5 . 3 0 . D i v i d e d a m o n g t w e n t y people, the cost for each p e r s o n is $ 3 . 2 7 f o r a v e r y c o m p l e t e m e a l . B y s i m p l i f y i n g the m e a l e v e n m o r e (by c o o k i n g o n l y one entree) the costs c a n be further reduced. T h e V C K C believes that b y c o n t r i b u t i n g a d o l l a r , participants are e m p o w e r e d b y k n o w i n g that they are h e l p i n g to m a k e their kitchens m o r e sustainable. B y p u t t i n g this measure into p l a c e , k i t c h e n s are also less l i k e l y to f o l d i f f u n d i n g is p u l l e d . A r e v i e w o f the c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t p r i n c i p l e s that V a n c o u v e r ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s subscribes to reveals that these p r i n c i p l e s s h o u l d be r e v i s i t e d a n d reassessed.  As  m e n t i o n e d i n C h a p t e r T w o , the C D p r i n c i p l e s that guide the p r o g r a m are: •  to increase the a b i l i t y o f i n d i v i d u a l s a n d the c o m m u n i t y to participate e f f e c t i v e l y i n the d e c i s i o n s that affect their l i v e s ;  •  to increase the a b i l i t y o f c o m m u n i t y m e m b e r s to identify a n d act o n c o m m o n issues;  •  to ensure that the c o m m u n i t y o r group develops independence a n d o w n e r s h i p o v e r the initiative. A s d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y , it appears f r o m the case studies that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s f u l f i l  to s o m e extent the first p r i n c i p l e . A s noted i n the questionnaires, c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s d o increase the a b i l i t y o f i n d i v i d u a l s (but not the c o m m u n i t y ) to participate i n the d e c i s i o n s that affect their l i v e s . T h e last t w o issues are related to c o m m u n i t y e m p o w e r m e n t a n d d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h , as stated before, c o m m u n i t y kitchens have yet to d e v e l o p . A n e t w o r k c o n n e c t i n g  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s m i g h t encourage participants to t h i n k about c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h w o u l d facilitate the d e v e l o p m e n t o f the last t w o p r i n c i p l e s . A s m e n t i o n e d i n C h a p t e r Three, C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n define c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t as the betterment o f p e o p l e t h r o u g h " p u b l i c p o l i c i e s , g o v e r n m e n t a l a c t i o n s , e c o n o m i c a c t i v i t i e s , institution b u i l d i n g a n d other types o f actions that not o n l y affect p e o p l e but c a n be affected b y p e o p l e . It focuses o n the humanistic elements i n v o l v e d i n change a n d h o w s u c h change contributes to s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c w e l l - b e i n g . " (Christenson, F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , 1989). B a s e d o n the a b o v e d e f i n i t i o n , a n e t w o r k w o u l d greatly enhance the a b i l i t y o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s to contribute to c o m m u n i t y development. I n P e r u , c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t issues, s u c h as transportation a n d access to c l e a n r u n n i n g water, are addressed t h r o u g h the F e d e r a t i o n o f S e l f - M a n a g e d P o p u l a r K i t c h e n s ( F C P A ) . T h e n e t w o r k is effective because it p r o v i d e s support and strength i n n u m b e r s . B y u s i n g the n e t w o r k , c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are better able to organise t h e m s e l v e s to engage i n c o l l e c t i v e action. T h e creation o f a n e t w o r k w o u l d be o f benefit f o r c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s i n V a n c o u v e r . W h i l e a p r o g r a m exists, l i n k s b e t w e e n the k i t c h e n s are w e a k . A n e t w o r k c o u l d be u s e d b y kitchens to support each other, a n d p r o v i d e the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s p r o g r a m w i t h a v o i c e to discuss a n d pursue c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t issues.  5.5  C o n s t r a i n t s f a c i n g attempts to u s i n g c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l R e v i e w i n g the case studies reveals that certain qualities need to be i n p l a c e f o r  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s to be successful as e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l s a n d as effective organisations. T h e qualities i d e n t i f i e d were:  62  a group o f c o m m i t t e d i n d i v i d u a l s : A group o f c o m m i t t e d i n d i v i d u a l s is r e q u i r e d f r o m b o t h participants a n d volunteers ( i f volunteers, s u c h as N e i g h b o u r h o o d H o u s e H e l p e r s , are used).  The  J u b i l e e H o u s e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n uses a volunteer a n d the c o o r d i n a t o r m e n t i o n e d that her c o n t r i b u t i o n ensured the success o f the k i t c h e n because he c o u l d r e l y o n her. T h e D o w n t o w n E a s t s i d e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s P r o g r a m , d i d not have reliable volunteers a n d this affected the o p e r a t i o n o f the k i t c h e n s negatively because volunteers w o u l d not s h o w u p or w o u l d forget to d o things that needed to be done. L i k e w i s e , w i t h respect to the participants, a c o m m i t t e d g r o u p o f i n d i v i d u a l s is also necessary.  W h e n k e y informants were asked what w a s needed to create a  successful c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , a core group o f c o m m i t t e d participants w a s the m o s t c o m m o n answer, because their presence help to create s o l i d a r i t y w h i c h ensured the c o n t i n u a n c e o f the k i t c h e n . T h i s answer w a s g i v e n b y a l l the c o m m u n i t y kitchens, regardless o f the s o c i a l m a k e u p o f the g r o u p . It is i m p o r t a n t to note that i n some cases, a c o m m i t t e d g r o u p m i g h t also l e a d to e x c l u s i o n . O n e o f the survey respondents h a d j o i n e d her c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n after it h a d b e e n operating for a f e w m o n t h s . W h i l e this p e r s o n enjoyed the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , she s o m e t i m e s felt e x c l u d e d .  consistency: F o r some groups, consistency is an important factor. I n the Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , the coordinator k n e w that i f the k i t c h e n c o o k e d o n l y once o r t w i c e a m o n t h , the participants w o u l d forget. T o counter this p r o b l e m , she d e c i d e d to operate the k i t c h e n o n a w e e k l y basis. I n some w a y s , this made the k i t c h e n s i m p l e r to organise (a routine c o u l d be established) a n d it was easier for the w o m e n to r e m e m b e r . T h i s c o n s i s t e n c y  h e l p e d to d e v e l o p stability w h i c h encouraged participants to attend. T h e w o m e n felt secure i n the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n because they k n e w what to expect. I n this p a r t i c u l a r k i t c h e n , c o n s i s t e n c y w a s v e r y i m p o r t a n t because it d e v e l o p e d trust a n d established a pattern, w h i c h m a d e it easier for the participants to remember.  f u n d i n g : T h e operation o f some c o m m u n i t y kitchens depends entirely u p o n f u n d i n g . W h i l e there are a n u m b e r o f kitchens w i t h i n V a n c o u v e r w h i c h are self-sufficient f i n a n c i a l l y , k i t c h e n s s u c h as the P a c i f i c H o t e l a n d J u b i l e e H o u s e are reliant o n f u n d i n g because their participants are o n s o c i a l assistance.  O t h e r kitchens w h i c h have p a y i n g m e m b e r s also r e l y o n the V a n c o u v e r  F o o d B a n k . A n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens have h a d to stop c o o k i n g because they w e r e not able to secure f u n d i n g . T h e V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s ' C o o r d i n a t o r is presently assisting groups b y h e l p i n g t h e m seek alternatives a n d solutions to this constraint.  l o c a t i o n : L o c a t i o n is a n important element for m o s t c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s . I n S L I C K , one participant m e n t i o n e d that the o n l y c o m p l a i n t she h a d w i t h her c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , w a s the c o m m u t e . I n Y o u n g M o m s a n d Y o u n g M o m s T o B e , access to p u b l i c transit w a s a factor because m a n y participants d i d not o w n cars. F o r the D o w n t o w n Eastside C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s P r o g r a m , careful c o n s i d e r a t i o n h a d to be g i v e n to the l o c a t i o n because certain hotels are i n areas that are k n o w n for s u p p l y i n g a l c o h o l and/or drugs. I n general, h o w e v e r , i f a l o c a t i o n is not e a s i l y accessible, the k i t c h e n w o u l d be constrained because it w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t for m e m b e r s to attend.  64  p a r t i c i p a t i o n : A n important factor i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens is p a r t i c i p a t i o n . It i s i m p o r t a n t for the c o o r d i n a t o r a n d other m e m b e r s to ensure that everyone is p a r t i c i p a t i n g e q u a l l y . O n e respondent i n the questionnaires m e n t i o n e d that her c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n f o c u s e d too m u c h o n N o r t h A m e r i c a n o r E u r o p e a n f o o d . G i v i n g this participant a n o p p o r t u n i t y to select a r e c i p e w o u l d s o l v e this d i l e m m a . A s m e n t i o n e d b y another participant, " P e o p l e n e e d a c h o r e o r j o b that they c a n d o . O t h e r w i s e p e o p l e are bored. A g o o d c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is one w h e r e there i s participation and learning."  5.5.1  The R o l e o f Leadership L e a d e r s h i p is a n aspect o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s that because o f its i m p o r t a n c e a n d  s i g n i f i c a n c e , warrants s o m e d i s c u s s i o n o n its o w n . I n any g r o u p , a sense o f leadership i s necessary i n s o m e f o r m . A s d e s c r i b e d b y K a t r i n a S h i e l d s , " i t i n e v i t a b l y emerges i n groups n o matter h o w egalitarian the i d e o l o g y is . . . I f leadership roles are not a c k n o w l e d g e d o v e r t l y , they i n e v i t a b l y h a p p e n c o v e r t l y o r i n d i r e c t l y . " ( S h i e l d s , 1994).  C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s require a l o t o f  c o o r d i n a t i o n a n d i n v o l v e m a n y tasks a n d a leader (or leaders) is s o m e t i m e s needed to ensure that tasks are delegated a n d c o m p l e t e d so that the group c a n c o o k . N a t u r a l l y , there are g o o d a n d b a d f o r m s o f leadership. G o o d leadership c o u l d be d e f i n e d as " a w i l l i n g n e s s to t h i n k about the group as a w h o l e a n d to offer s o m e d i r e c t i o n a n d i n f l u e n c e i n h e l p i n g the g r o u p meet its g o a l s . " ( S h i e l d s , 1994). I n other w o r d s , g o o d leadership encourages a n d m o t i v a t e s whereas b a d leadership tends to d o m i n a t e . A n effective leader has the a b i l i t y to m a k e the i m p o s s i b l e happen. I n some c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , f u n d i n g secures the k i t c h e n ' s  65  existence but it is the leadership (by a n i n d i v i d u a l or shared b y the group) w h i c h ensures the k i t c h e n is sustained. T h e K i w a s s a C a n n i n g G r o u p is a n e x a m p l e . U n t i l recently, this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n w a s f u n d e d w i t h c a n n i n g supplies f r o m a c a n n i n g c o m p a n y . W i t h the loss i n s u p p l i e s , the k i t c h e n has h a d to d i p into their savings to purchase their c a n n i n g goods. A situation arose w h e r e the g r o u p m e m b e r s w a n t e d to m a k e some j a m . I n the past, the group c o u l d r e l y o n their savings to purchase the extra ingredients but w i t h the loss i n f u n d i n g , the k i t c h e n h a d to act m o r e f r u g a l l y . T h e g r o u p d i s c o v e r e d s o m e leftover blackberries but there w a s not e n o u g h to m a k e a f u l l b a t c h o f j a m . B l a c k b e r r i e s were i n season, a n d a participant suggested that she c o u l d p i c k a basket f u l l o f berries to contribute to the s u p p l y . O t h e r m e m b e r s s a i d that they w o u l d contribute as w e l l . T h e f o l l o w i n g w e e k , the group was c u r i o u s to see i f e n o u g h berries h a d b e e n p i c k e d because it w o u l d represent the g r o u p ' s c o m m i t m e n t . I n the end, e n o u g h berries w e r e p i c k e d f o r e a c h m e m b e r , a n d the group not o n l y s u r v i v e d the test but i n the process, f o u n d a s o l u t i o n to their problem. L e a d e r s h i p i n m a n y instances is also about d e s i r a b i l i t y a n d the a b i l i t y o f either one or a f e w p e o p l e to translate this desire into action. L e a d e r s are o r d i n a r y p e o p l e w h o have a v i s i o n f o r their organisations a n d c o m m u n i t i e s a n d are able to inspire others a n d h e l p t h e m understand the p o t e n t i a l o f change. T h e y have a propensity for a c t i o n a n d a n e n a b l i n g c a p a c i t y that a l l o w s t h e m to delegate, e m p o w e r , recognise a n d translate the " g i f t s " o f i n d i v i d u a l s i n t o p o s i t i v e energy f o r change (Farquhar, 1994.). I n l i n k i n g leadership to e m p o w e r m e n t , it s h o u l d be e m p h a s i s e d that w i t h i n a g r o u p , a sense o f leadership m u s t be shared. A p r o b l e m i n s o m e organisations is that leadership  66  predominates, but it has v e r y little f o l l o w i n g . A s m e n t i o n e d b y M i l l e r , R e i n a n d L e v i t t ( 1 9 9 5 ) , e m p o w e r m e n t i n this type o f setting is remote a n d w e a k i n a l l f o r m s . A fine balance exists between those w h o lead a n d those w h o f o l l o w . A r e v i e w o f the top 50 m o d e l c o m m u n i t i e s i n the w o r l d b y F r i e n d s o f the U n i t e d N a t i o n s revealed s e l f e m p o w e r m e n t a n d leadership as c o m m o n elements i n the c o m m u n i t i e s . " F o r these c o m m u n i t i e s a predominate theme w a s e m p o w e r m e n t - the a b i l i t y to participate a n d take a c t i o n o n decisions w h i c h affect their l i v e s . E m p o w e r m e n t w a s not c o n c e d e d f r o m the outside, but w a s self-help. E m p o w e r m e n t w a s characterized as b e g i n n i n g w i t h k n o w l e d g e t h r o u g h e d u c a t i o n or consciousness r a i s i n g . It required the s o l i d a r i t y o f the g r o u p for support, a n d access to resources, i n c l u d i n g m o n e y . F i n a n c i a l a i d alone, h o w e v e r , w a s not sufficient for e m p o w e r m e n t . . . . S o m e t i m e s the v i s i o n w a s p r o v i d e d b y a strong leader, s o m e t i m e s it came f r o m the group itself. It became clear that i n d i v i d u a l s alone c o u l d not effect the needed changes, c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n w a s r e q u i r e d . . . a n e w f o r m o f leadership emerged - leadership w i t h people rather than leadership f r o m the top d o w n . " ( S e y m o a r a n d P o n c e de L e o n , 1997).  5.6  O p p o r t u n i t i e s i n u s i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l T h e r e are m a n y opportunities i n u s i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens as a n e m p o w e r m e n t t o o l .  D u r i n g the k e y i n f o r m a n t i n t e r v i e w s , each leader m e n t i o n e d that the difference w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s c o m p a r e d to s i m i l a r programs, is that it is not a handout. T h e c o m m u n i t y w o r k e r a n d k i t c h e n coordinator for the J u b i l e e H o u s e H o u s i n g S o c i e t y , believes that c o m m u n i t y kitchens c o u l d be used to t r a i n volunteers. H e m e n t i o n e d that granting agencies, w h i l e f u n d i n g programs, a l w a y s w a n t to k n o w i f people w i l l be e m p l o y e d . H e w o u l d l i k e to see granting agencies a n d the government support p r o g r a m s s i m i l a r to c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , to t r a i n i n d i v i d u a l s as volunteers. I n h i s w o r d s , " T h e r e w i l l a l w a y s be p e o p l e that are u n e m p l o y e d . W h a t is important is whether or not a p r o g r a m c a n p r o v i d e a p e r s o n w i t h s k i l l s that they i n t u r n c a n contribute to the c o m m u n i t y . P e o p l e c a n contribute o n a v o l u n t e e r b a s i s . "  The  67  p o p u l a t i o n that he deals w i t h are n o t e m p l o y a b l e but d o have the t i m e to v o l u n t e e r , w h i c h w o u l d benefit b o t h the c o m m u n i t y a n d the g o v e r n m e n t w h e n s o c i a l cuts are m a d e . G o v e r n m e n t s are e x p e c t i n g agencies s u c h as the U n i t e d W a y , to p i c k u p the slack, but there are f e w e r p e o p l e a v a i l a b l e to volunteer. W h i l e h i s p o p u l a t i o n m i g h t n o t be c o n s i d e r e d the " i d e a l " v o l u n t e e r , they c a n s t i l l contribute a n d this w o u l d foster b o t h e m p o w e r m e n t a n d c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t . O p p o r t u n i t i e s w e r e also i d e n t i f i e d i n the surveys. A n u m b e r o f participants m e n t i o n e d that they w o u l d l i k e to connect w i t h other kitchens to create a sense o f c o m m u n i t y . C r e a t i n g a n e t w o r k w o u l d enable k i t c h e n s to share recipes, seek j o i n t f u n d i n g , a n d d i s c u s s c o m m u n i t y development issues . 3  5.7  Conclusion In this chapter, the results f r o m the case studies were presented a n d a n a l y s e d . F r o m the  research, it w a s o b s e r v e d that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are effective at e m p o w e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s a n d d o so i n a n u m b e r o f w a y s . C o m m u n i t y kitchens tend to e m p o w e r their participants b y t e a c h i n g life s k i l l s a n d b y e n h a n c i n g confidence a n d self-esteem. Participants m e n t i o n e d that they g a i n e d m a n y benefits s u c h as l e a r n i n g to c o m m u n i c a t e , b e c o m i n g self-reliant a n d i n c r e a s i n g their s o c i a l n e t w o r k s . H o w e v e r , it w a s determined f r o m the case studies that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s d o n o t effectively contribute to c o m m u n i t y development. T h e e m p o w e r m e n t processes that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are engaged i n tend to focus o n the i n d i v i d u a l because they effect changes i n a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t is important to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t because the d e v e l o p m e n t o f c o m m u n i t i e s occurs t h r o u g h the efforts o f i n d i v i d u a l s . T h e c r e a t i o n o f a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s n e t w o r k w a s suggested to enhance c o m m u n i t y  3  Community development issues were actually mentioned in the questionnaires.  68  d e v e l o p m e n t . L i n k i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens to each other p r o v i d e s the p r o g r a m w i t h a v o i c e that c a n be strengthened o v e r t i m e , a n d u s e d to address c o m m u n i t y issues. T h e V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s C o o r d i n a t o r p l a y s a n important r o l e b y c o n n e c t i n g the c i t y ' s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s , but these l i n k s are w e a k a n d they need to be f o r m a l i s e d . T h e next chapter r e v i e w s the major f i n d i n g s f r o m t h i s research. P l a n n i n g a n d p o l i c y i m p l i c a t i o n s are h i g h l i g h t e d a n d areas for further research w i l l be d i s c u s s e d .  69  Chapter Six Community Kitchens in Vancouver: Implications and Conclusion  6.0  Introduction The purpose of this thesis was to explore the ways in which community kitchens could be  used as an empowerment tool and whether they can be used to enhance community development. The research focused on community kitchens in Vancouver where the number of kitchens has doubled in the last two years. The first part of this final chapter reviews the major findings from the research. The second half tries to identify the planning and policy implications related to using community kitchens as an empowerment tool and their potential to enhance communities. Further areas of research are also discussed.  6.1  Mai or Findings From the case studies, the researcher observed that community kitchens do empower their  participants but through individual empowerment. As described in Chapter Three, there are five types of empowerment ranging from the individual to the community. It is important to emphasise that one form of empowerment is not necessarily better or more desired than another, but the outcome of each empowerment type will vary. With this in mind, community kitchens are individually empowering in a number of ways and they achieve this empowerment through a person's participation. Community kitchens are a form of self-help and a participant's contribution to the community kitchen is a contribution to his/her own well-being. In the case studies, individual empowerment processes focused on learning and increasing levels of confidence and self-esteem.  70  T h e s e processes are interrelated. T h r o u g h the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , participants were taught l i f e s k i l l s (such as c o m m u n i c a t i o n , self-reliance a n d socialisation) a n d h a v i n g t h i s k n o w l e d g e encouraged confidence a n d self-esteem.  Increased c o n f i d e n c e a n d self-esteem means  that participants are better able to m a k e d e c i s i o n s about their l i v e s . I n turn, the a b i l i t y to m a k e d e c i s i o n s contributes to a p e r s o n ' s sense o f c o n t r o l i n his/her l i f e . H a v i n g this sense o f c o n t r o l contributes to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t because i n d i v i d u a l s need to have a sense o f c o n t r o l i n their l i v e s before they are able to m a k e d e c i s i o n s o n other issues, s u c h as those related to community. T h r o u g h the research, it was d i s c o v e r e d that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s as they c u r r e n t l y operate, d o not contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t . T h i s does not m e a n that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s do not have the potential to be used i n c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t , but they have a l i m i t e d c o m m u n i t y output. A s m e n t i o n e d p r e v i o u s l y , this is because i n d i v i d u a l e m p o w e r m e n t does not effect c o m m u n i t y change because it focuses o n the i n d i v i d u a l .  However,  a n u m b e r o f e m p o w e r m e n t theorists have s a i d that for s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l e m p o w e r m e n t to o c c u r , " i n d i v i d u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n is theoretically a n d p r a c t i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t . " ( R o c h a , 1997). C o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t has been d e f i n e d as the betterment o f p e o p l e t h r o u g h " p u b l i c p o l i c i e s , g o v e r n m e n t a l actions, e c o n o m i c activities, i n s t i t u t i o n b u i l d i n g a n d other types o f a c t i v i t i e s . . . " ( C h r i s t e n s o n , F e n d l e y a n d R o b i n s o n , 1989). C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s c a n be u s e d to contribute to c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t b y d e v e l o p i n g their p r o p e n s i t y to effect change t h r o u g h c o m m u n i t y outreach. H o w e v e r , it s h o u l d be noted that there are differentiated p r i n c i p l e s that is dependent o n the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . D e p e n d i n g o n the s o c i a l m a k e u p o f the g r o u p , s o m e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are m o r e internal or i n w a r d - l o o k i n g than others. I n terms o f c o m m u n i t y  71  development, certain community kitchens reach internally to develop the empowerment skills of their participants and the community while other kitchens reach out externally to the greater community at large. The present focus of community kitchens in Vancouver is on the individual and there is little emphasis placed on the community. As mentioned in the findings, a network of community kitchens could be used to develop communities. At present, there is no public forum for community kitchens to discuss community issues and the creation of a network would enable kitchens to tackle issues collectively. Certain qualities should be in place within community kitchens if they are used to develop communities. While researching the case studies, common qualities were observed that appeared to contribute to the success or effectiveness of using community kitchens as an empowerment tool. The qualities identified were: a group of committed individuals, consistency, funding, leadership, location, and participation. Of these qualities, leadership seemed to be of particular importance. In a preliminary review of community kitchens, the two factors that appeared to contribute the most to a kitchen's downfall were a lack of funding and leadership. Leadership was of greater importance. In cases where funding was insecure, if the leadership was strong, the kitchen would continue to operate whereas if the leadership was weak, the kitchen would cease to exist, making it ineffective at both empowering individuals and developing communities.  6.2  Planning and Policy Implications. This thesis has shown the value of using community kitchens as agents of empowerment.  Although community kitchens are more empowering at the individual level, empowered  72  i n d i v i d u a l s a n d their actions c a n lead to e m p o w e r e d c o m m u n i t i e s . T h e researcher b e l i e v e s that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s have the potential to b e c o m e e m p o w e r e d organisations to i n f l u e n c e c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d a n e t w o r k to l i n k kitchens w o u l d facilitate this a c t i v i t y . I n its current state, a n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens are searching for f u n d i n g , etc. independent  from  e a c h other. A s h a r i n g o f i n f o r m a t i o n needs to o c c u r to prevent granting agencies from b e i n g f l o o d e d w i t h requests a n d the researcher believes that c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n w o u l d strengthen f u n d i n g p r o p o s a l s as w e l l as p r o v i d i n g a f o r u m for kitchens to discuss c o m m u n i t y issues. A c o n c e r n is that a n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens are m o v i n g a w a y from f i n a n c i a l selfsufficiency.  T h e V a n c o u v e r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s C o o r d i n a t o r a n d the A d v i s o r y B o a r d are  p l a n n i n g to r e v i s i t the goals a n d objectives o f c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s . It is their b e l i e f that c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s need to be f i n a n c i a l l y self-sufficient, to be e m p o w e r e d organisations.  Many  c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n s are reliant o n f u n d i n g , a n d to effectively teach the p r i n c i p l e s o f self-help a n d s u f f i c i e n c y , the o r g a n i s a t i o n s h o u l d reflect its o w n lesson. P l a n n e r s c a n p l a y a role i n h e l p i n g these organisations b e c o m e m o r e self-sufficient. There is a desire i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens to g r o w c o m m u n i t y gardens. I n k i t c h e n s w h e r e the participants are u n e m p l o y e d or u n d e r e m p l o y e d , m e m b e r s c o u l d use their t i m e to c u l t i v a t e vegetables for the k i t c h e n a n d for resale. Planners c a n facilitate this process b y p r o v i d i n g u n u s e d greenspace w h e r e c o m m u n i t y gardens c a n be g r o w n . L i k e w i s e , the p l a n n i n g department c o u l d ensure that m a r g i n a l i s e d areas w i t h i n the c i t y , have locations w h e r e p e o p l e c a n c o o k . I n the d o w n t o w n eastside, m a n y o f the S R O s do not have any type o f k i t c h e n f a c i l i t y i n either the r o o m s or the hotels. A b y l a w or r e g u l a t i o n that requires the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s o m e f o r m o f k i t c h e n s h o u l d be e x a m i n e d to p r o v i d e the p o p u l a t i o n l i v i n g i n the S R O s w i t h a n o p p o r t u n i t y to c o o k .  A  73  person can be empowered by knowing that they have options and a choice between standing in a line or cooking at home.  6.3  Areas for Further Research. The research in this thesis evaluated community kitchens as an empowerment tool within  community development. The ways in which community kitchens empower, and the opportunities and constraints they faced, was also examined. Nevertheless, there are a number of areas that can be further researched and investigated. Among them are:  1. A full evaluation. This thesis evaluated only a few community kitchens out of the forty that are currently in operation. To assess the full impact of community kitchens on participants' lives, a complete assessment should be undertaken.  2. Financing alternatives. Community kitchens that are being used by marginalised populations are currently being funded through a number of public and private granting agencies. In a society where social cutbacks are the reality, alternate options need to be explored to help community kitchens start their operations, and eventually become financially self-sufficient.  3. A temporal study. In this thesis, a snapshot of selected community kitchens was conducted in the research. To fully appreciate and understand the use of community kitchens as an empowerment tool, a latitudinal study should be undertaken where the researcher would follow  74  the history of a kitchen (or kitchens) and its members to observe the impact of the kitchen in empowering its participants through time.  4. Links between community kitchens and the city's social planning department. Links between community kitchens and the city are virtually non-existent. Further research should be undertaken to forge a relationship that would be of benefit to both community kitchens and the city.  5. Organisational empowerment. The strength of community kitchens is their ability to empower individuals. Methods and tools need to be considered to tap into the potential community kitchens have in empowering the society in which they operate.  6.4  Scholarly contributions In this thesis, the possibility of using community kitchens as a link between  empowerment and community development was explored. 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Newbury Park: Sage  79  Appendix I Key Informants  Kerry Armstrong Jubilee House Community Kitchens Camie John West E n d Seniors' Network Community Kitchen Kitty K u k Frog H o l l o w Neighbourhood House Multicultural Cooking Club Ivor Parry Barclay Manor Bread Burners Community Kitchen Andrea Robertson S L I C K (St. James Ladies' International Community Kitchen) K a r i n Scheurs Young M o m s and Y o u n g M o m s To Be Community Kitchen Rogan Sinclair The Pacific Hotel Community Kitchen E l l e n Wickberg Kiwassa Canning Group  Appendix II Key Informant Questions  1.  N a m e o f your C o m m u n i t y Kitchen.  2.  Y o u r position.  3.  H o w m a n y years have y o u been a part o f this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  4.  B r i e f l y describe h o w y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n w a s f o r m e d a n d w h y .  5.  W h a t has y o u r experience i n this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n been l i k e ?  6.  T o y o u r k n o w l e d g e , d o y o u k n o w o f anyone w h o b e c a m e e m p l o y e d as a result o f his/her participation i n a C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  7.  W h a t d o y o u t h i n k i s the m o s t important s k i l l the participants i n y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n have learned?  8.  W h a t other s k i l l s have participants gained t h r o u g h their p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n group?  9.  H o w l o n g d i d it take f o r the m e m b e r s i n the C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n to " g e l " o r b e c o m e a group? W h a t w a s the t u r n i n g p o i n t and what factors created o r affected this t u r n i n g point?  10.  H o w d o y o u define a " g o o d " C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  11.  W h a t d o y o u t h i n k needs to be i n place to create a successful C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  12.  W h a t is successful about this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  13.  W h a t needs to be i m p r o v e d ? H o w d o y o u t h i n k y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n c o u l d i m p r o v e ? W h a t are s o m e o f the p r o b l e m s o r d i f f i c u l t i e s y o u h a v e experienced i n t h i s Community Kitchen?  14.  D o y o u t h i n k l o c a t i o n is important to the success o f a C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ?  15.  W h a t are some resources y o u w o u l d l i k e to be able to share w i t h other C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n groups?  16.  W h a t other c o m m u n i t y projects i s this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n i n v o l v e d w i t h ?  81  17.  W h y do y o u t h i n k people participate i n C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s ? W h a t experiences or s k i l l s d o y o u t h i n k they hope to g a i n ?  18.  D o e s y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n receive f u n d i n g ? I f yes, what is the source o f f u n d i n g ? D e s c r i b e y o u r present f u n d i n g situation. Is it secure?  19.  H o w has y o u r f u n d i n g situation m a d e an i m p a c t o n the o p e r a t i o n o f y o u r C o m m u n i t y Kitchen?  20.  W h i c h o f the f o l l o w i n g processes does y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n practice? participatory d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g decisions reached b y consensus d e c i s i o n s reached b y v o t i n g keeping a logbook  82  Appendix III Vancouver Community Kitchens 1998 Questionnaire 1.  2.  3.  Why did you join this Community Kitchen group?  On a scale of 1-5, to what extent have you been satisfied with your Community Kitchen experience? not at all completely 1 2 3 4 5 Do you feel better about feeding yourself and/or your family since joining this Community Kitchen? no change 1  much better 2  3  4  5  In this Community Kitchen, is attention given to encouraging leadership skills among members? no encouragement 1  high degree of encouragement 2  3  4  5  How well does the group communicate with each other? communicates poorly 1  communicates well 2  3  4  5  How comfortable do you feel about expressing your feelings, even feelings about people in the group? unsafe  very safe 1  2  3  4  5  Are different perspectives (eg. age, ethnic, cultural and class perspectives) respected and included? little respect 1 8.  lots of respect 2  3  4  5  Are conflicts handled effectively? conflict handled ineffectively 1  conflict handled effectively 2  3  4  5  83  9.  What skills do you think you've learned from participating in this Community Kitchen group?  10.  How long do you feel it took for your Community Kitchen to come together as a group? Was there an event that brought the group together?  11. a.  Please finish the following sentences: What is good about being part of this Community Kitchen for me is/are...  b.  What is hard about being part of this Community Kitchen for me is/are...  c.  What I would like help with is/are...  12.  Have you connected with other participants? If so, how? For example, for coffee, to carpool, etc.  13.  Are there any stories about your Community Kitchen that you would like to share?  14.  Please make any suggestions you have about Community Kitchens below, or call the coordinator, Andrea Taylor, at 254-8300.  84  This questionnaire is anonymous, but we would like to know if you are: (please circle) male  female  and your age group: (please circle) under 20  20-25  26-30  31-35  36-40  46-50  51-55  56-60  61-65  over 65  41-45  Thank you for participating in our survey.  85  

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