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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 C A R R I E L E E C H U N G B . A . , M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1996 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S ( 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 required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A October 1998 © C a r r i e L e e C h u n g , 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of r v . . ^ V - ^ ~ ~ r i ^ Z * - » W n V ' " P W ^ ^ ^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date r ^ * » V ^ ^ „ , \°Plr\ DE-6 (2/88) Abstract T h e purpose o f this thesis was to explore the effectiveness o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens as a n empowerment 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 ki tchens e m p o w e r their participants, h o w they are being used to foster c o m m u n i t y development, and the opportunit ies and constraints i n us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens as an empowerment t o o l . T h e research questions are addressed i n a variety o f ways . First , a comprehensive literature r e v i e w was undertaken to define the m e a n i n g o f empowerment and c o m m u n i t y development as used b y this thesis. S e c o n d l y , a m u l t i p l e case study approach i n v o l v i n g participant observat ion, k e y informant interviews and a survey was conducted to examine these questions. A total o f seven c o m m u n i t y ki tchens were 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 do empower participants but at an i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . Part ic ipants learn s k i l l s such as cooperation, c o o k i n g and socia l isat ion, a n d are e m p o w e r e d through self-help and b y ga ining confidence and self-esteem. A t a c o m m u n i t y l e v e l , efforts have been made to e m p o w e r the c o m m u n i t y and 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 kitchens, c o m m u n i t y development init iat ives (such as volunteer ing to c o o k for a larger c o m m u n i t y ) are i n p lace but c o m m u n i t y ki tchens 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 tchens, however , 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 considered the first step to c o m m u n i t y empowerment . TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i L i s t o f Tables v L i s t o f F igures v i A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s v i i C H A P T E R I Structure and Components 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Research 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 Observat ion 5 1.4.3 K e y Informant Interviews 6 1.4.4 Questionnaire Surveys 7 1.5 C o m p l e m e n t a r i t y B e t w e e n Research M e t h o d s 8 1.6 D e s c r i p t i o n o f Thesis Structure and Content 9 C H A P T E R II T h e 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 2.0 Introduction 10 2.1 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 11 2.2 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 14 2.3 C o n c l u s i o n 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 and 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 E m p o w e r m e n t D e f i n e d 18 3.1.1 T h e H i s t o r y o f E m p o w e r m e n t T h e o r y 19 3.1.2 A D e f i n i t i o n o f E m p o w e r m e n t 2 0 3.2 C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t 22 3.2.1 T h e H i s t o r y o f C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t 23 3.2.2 A D e f i n i 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 27 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 29 3.4 T h e F r a m e w o r k to be Tested 29 3.5 C o n c l u s i o n 33 C H A P T E R I V Introduction to the Case Studies: Descr ipt ions 4 .0 Introduct ion 34 4.1 His tor ies 34 4.2 C o o k i n g and Organisat ional Processes 4 0 4.3 G o a l s 42 4.4 C o n c l u s i o n 43 C H A P T E R V Research F i n d i n g s and A n a l y s i s 5.0 Introduction 4 4 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 L e a r n i n g L i f e S k i l l s 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 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 K i t c h e n s 57 5.3 T h e Potent ia 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 D e v e l o p m e n t 58 5.4 T h e R o l e 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 r d i n a t o r i n C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t 59 5.5 Constraints 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 an E m p o w e r m e n t T o o l 62 5.5.1 T h e R o l e o f Leadership 65 5.6 Opportunit ies 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 67 5.7 C o n c l u s i o n 68 C H A P T E R V I 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 : Impl icat ions and C o n c l u s i o n 6.0 Introduction 70 6.1 M a j o r F i n d i n g s 70 6.2 P l a n n i n g and P o l i c y Impl icat ions 72 6.3 A r e a s for Further Research , 74 6.4 S c h o l a r l y Contr ibut ions 75 B i b l i o g r a p h y 76 A p p e n d i x I K e y Informants 80 A p p e n d i x II K e y Informant Quest ions 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 Quest ionnaire 83 iV List of Tables T a b l e 3.1 F o u r W a y s o f V i e w i n g C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t T a b l e 3.2 E m p o w e r m e n t Types T a b l e 3.3 E m p o w e r m e n t F r a m e w o r k 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 v List of Figures 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 O u t F i g u r e 5.1 H o w comfortable do y o u feel about expressing y o u r feelings, even feelings about people i n the group? F i g u r e 5.2 H o w w e l l does the group communicate 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 group? 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 think y o u ' v e learned f r o m part ic ipat ing i n this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n 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 since j o i n i n g this c o m m u n i t y k i tchen group? 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? 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 and P e n n y Gurste in , w h o have not o n l y been m y thesis advisors , but m y mentors dur ing m y graduate education. I a m grateful for their support a n d advice b o t h i n matters related to and outside o f academia. I t ru ly bel ieve that I a m a better person because o f their influence. I must also thank A n d r e a T a y l o r , former ly 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 and her enthusiasm was 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 coordinator 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 inspired m e w h e n I needed to be inspired , cha l lenged m y ideas w h e n they needed to be chal lenged, and made me bel ieve that I c o u l d conquer the w o r l d . M y gratitude is 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 groups, and 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 Burners , 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 and Y o u n g M o m s T o B e and the Y W C A Crabtree C o r n e r c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. I must also thank those w h o part ic ipated i n m y interviews. 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 Ivor Parry , C a r o l Ranger , 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 had the opportunity to w o r k w i t h such w o n d e r f u l people a n d I hope that I w i l l a lways remember the lessons they have taught me. 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 and R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g , especial ly to the " c o o l w o m e n " I have met. Y o u have helped m e g r o w as a person, a n d have made the last t w o years a truly 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 Corbett , X a v i e r Furtado and J i m Storey. T r a c y for m a k i n g sure I had a home, X a v i e r for t a k i n g the t i m e to read m y thesis and J i m for teaching me the importance o f definit ions. M o s t o f a l l , I w o u l d l i k e to thank the three o f y o u for y o u r fr iendship and 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 s ingle w a y , i n everything I 've ever undertaken. I cannot thank y o u enough. T h i s thesis is dedicated to y o u . Chapter One Structure and Components 1.0 Introduct ion 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 people w h o meet o n a regular basis to cook, and share the cost o f preparing healthy meals. C o m m u n i t y kitchens such as " c a n n i n g g r o u p s " have existed i n f o r m a l l y for hundreds o f years but the first organised c o m m u n i t y k i tchens were f o u n d 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 1 . " O l l a s C o m m u n " 2 or " T h e C o m m o n P o t " s temmed 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 every day to cook, eat and sew 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 and 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 is to provide some insight into w h y , to what extent a n d h o w c o m m u n i t y kitchens can be used as an empowerment t o o l and whether they c a n be used to enhance c o m m u n i t y development. Information o n c o m m u n i t y ki tchens f r o m a p l a n n i n g perspective is l i m i t e d as it has tradit ional ly been researched b y diet icians or b y sociologists 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 add to the e x i s t i n g b o d y o f 1 For more information on community kitchens in Peru, read Lenten, Roelie, 1993. Cooking under the Volcanoes. Communal Kitchens in the Southern Peruvian City of Arequipa. 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. 2 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 empowerment 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 discuss the l i n k between empowerment and 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 kitchens are a vehic le that can be used as an empowerment 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 explored. A more comprehensive understanding into the w o r k i n g s o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens and their effects o n participants is needed. B y e x p l o r i n g this issue, it is hoped that c o m m u n i t y kitchens can be adapted and used i n c o m m u n i t i e s that m a y be marg ina l i sed b y current c o m m u n i t y development and 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 what w a y s do V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r their part icipants? i i . W h a t are the opportunities and constraints fac ing attempts to use c o m m u n i t y ki tchens as a n empowerment tool? i i i . H o w can V a n c o u v e r ' s c o m m u n i t y kitchens be used to foster c o m m u n i t y development? 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 was conducted by us ing a c o m b i n a t i o n o f techniques. T h e approach was based p r i m a r i l y o n qualitative (wi th some quantitative) research and was gathered through f ive research methods. 2 (1) A r e v i e w o f empowerment literature related to c o m m u n i t y development was conducted 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 used to p r o v i d e a d e f i n i t i o n for empowerment and 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 ki tchens i n V a n c o u v e r was also conducted for the author to become 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) Part ic ipant observation i n both kitchens and at c o m m u n i t y k i tchens ' leaders w o r k s h o p s was conducted to provide insight into the w o r k i n g s o f a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. (3) K e y informant interviews were conducted w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders to ident i fy the effectiveness o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n p r o m o t i n g empowerment. (4) A survey was conducted w i t h participants for their insight o n c o m m u n i t y k i tchens. (5) A comparat ive case study was used to determine the role o f c o m m u n i t y k i tchens as an empowerment 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 provides a more in-depth l o o k into w h y the above research methods (except the literature review) were chosen, h o w they were approached, a n d the strengths and weaknesses o f each method. 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 approach was selected because a diverse n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens were be ing observed. There are m a n y types o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens i n V a n c o u v e r , such as the B r e a d Burners - a senior m e n ' s c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, S L I C K - a gourmet c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n for w o m e n , and Y o u n g M o m s and Y o u n g M o m s T o B e - a k i t c h e n for pregnant teenagers and y o u n g mothers at r isk. B y us ing a m u l t i p l e case study approach, s imi lar i t ies and 3 contrasts between and a m o n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens can be observed. A s patterns are d iscovered and described, an explorat ion into the s imilar i t ies and 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 lue into h o w c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r i n d i v i d u a l s and foster the b u i l d i n g o f communit ies . A s stated by 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 provide this k i n d o f support, part icular ly i f they s imultaneously 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 for genera l izat ion." ( R o b s o n , 1993). T h e type o f case that w i l l be used is described b y R o b s o n as the " c o m m u n i t y study", where one or more l o c a l communit ies (or i n this case, c o m m u n i t y ki tchens) are observed. C o m m u n i t y case studies focus o n "the pattern of, and 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 kitchens that were studied were selected to p r o v i d e a broad 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: length o f t ime the group has been c o o k i n g together, the soc ia l m a k e u p o f the group, and locat ion. T h e criteria w i l l be discussed i n greater detai l , later i n the study. Strengths o f the m u l t i p l e case study approach I n general, the strength i n us ing a case study approach is that the case study is explorat ive and "encourages the use o f mul t ip le methods o f invest igat ion." ( R o b s o n , 1993). B y u s i n g the case study approach, both quantitative and qualitative data can be gathered. T h e m u l t i p l e case study's m a i n strength is that it is v i v i d and can b r i n g the theory b e i n g studied to l i fe . 4 Weaknesses o f the m u l t i p l e case study approach T h e weakness o f the m u l t i p l e case study approach is that it m a y be considered a "soft o p t i o n " i n some disc ip l ines ( R o b s o n , 1993). I f the researcher does not take care to incorporate quantitative analysis into the design o f the case study, the research m a y be too qualitat ive. A quantitative research method such as surveys, should be used to ensure numeracy ( R o b s o n , 1993). 1.4.2 Part ic ipant Observat ion Part ic ipant observation for this thesis was not the m a i n source o f data for the research. A n u m b e r o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens 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 and the researcher feared that her presence m a y have used f o o d or taken the place o f someone w h o needed access to a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. Instead, the researcher part ic ipated b y c o o k i n g i n a f e w o f the kitchens and attended a number o f c o m m u n i t y k i tchens ' leaders w o r k s h o p s that were organised 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 Coordinator . Part ic ipant observat ion, 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 interact ion between group members, and gave the researcher an opportunity to ask questions w h i c h greatly enriched 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 irect ly w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n members. F o r this thesis, participant observat ion was useful i n s c o p i n g the research. T h e m a i n strength o f this method was that it gave the researcher a n 5 opportunity to meet members o f various c o m m u n i t y kitchens w h o were later approached to participate i n the questionnaire and/or k e y informant interviews. Weakness o f participant-as-observer T h e use o f participant-as-observer as a research method has several weaknesses. T h e first is that the participant-as-observer m a y have inadvertently inf luenced the actions o f other participants. T h e second is that it is a t ime c o n s u m i n g process. T h e t h i r d weakness is that the researcher m a y have dif f icult ies i n presenting an unbiased v i e w after part ic ipat ing a n d establ ishing relat ionships w i t h the groups. 1.4.3 K e y Informant Interviews K e y informant interviews add an element o f richness to the thesis and supplemented 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 for k e y informants and A p p e n d i x II for questions) were conducted w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders/coordinators and were used to document the history o f each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n . Informat ion p r o v i d e d b y the k e y informants was also used to determine h o w c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r i n d i v i d u a l s , and what opportunities and constraints are encountered. Strengths o f k e y informant interviews T h e strength o f k e y informant interviews is that they enr ich the thesis by supplement ing quantitative data w i t h details that are not obvious to the outsider. Informants usua l ly possess 6 " i n s i d e k n o w l e d g e " and are able to provide valuable insight or e x p l a i n anomal ies that m i g h t be disregarded or o v e r l o o k e d . Weaknesses o f k e y informant interviews T h e weakness o f key informant interviews is that w i t h informants, "what 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 and point o f v i e w . " (Babbie , 1995). Before i n t e r v i e w i n g k e y informants, interviewers should have a strong understanding o f the subject so that the difference between fact and point o f v i e w can be discerned. 1.4.4 Quest ionnaire surveys A survey was conducted w i t h part ic ipat ing members i n var ious c o m m u n i t y k i tchens to supplement 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) was used and incorporated both m a t r i x format (where participants respond b y us ing a scale) and open-ended questions. T h e questionnaire tr ied 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 members b y asking participants to answer questions related to empowerment 3 . T h e questionnaire also tr ied to incorporate t r iangulat ion b y ask ing questions that were s i m i l a r to those asked i n the k e y informant interviews. Part ic ipants were also asked more general questions such as w h y they had j o i n e d the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n and what they l i k e d and d i s l i k e d about their part ic ipat ion i n their c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. T h e questionnaires were anonymous and were conducted under the u m b r e l l a 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 P r o g r a m . 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 usual ly dependable. A n o t h e r strength is that the a n o n y m i t y and p r i v a c y associated w i t h questionnaires m i g h t encourage a more candid response. H o w e v e r , the researcher is aware that a n o n y m i t y does not guarantee truthfulness. Weakness o f questionnaires T h e weakness o f questionnaires is that they represent "the least c o m m o n denominator i n assessing people ' s attitudes, orientations, circumstances and experiences." ( B a b b i e , 1995). D e p e n d i n g o n the number o f questionnaires, the analysis m a y be c o m p l i c a t e d and t i m e c o n s u m i n g . 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 was conducted. T h e m u l t i p l e case study approach was chosen because m o r e than one c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n was observed. W i t h i n the m u l t i p l e case study approach, contact w i t h the c o m m u n i t y kitchens was made through participant observation. Part ic ipant observat ion p r o v i d e d the researcher w i t h insight into h o w the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen groups interacted. T h i s also established a relat ionship between the researcher and the var ious groups. Surveys were conducted after the researcher had established contact and p r o v i d e d quantitative data for the thesis. T h e use o f the questionnaires also ensured that members i n each 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 was opt ional) . K e y 8 informant interviews p r o v i d e d the thesis w i t h qualitative data and were undertaken after the questionnaires were conducted. 1.6 D e s c r i p t i o n o f thesis structure and content T h i s thesis is organised into s ix chapters. T h e first chapter introduces the concept o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens and presents the statement o f purpose, research questions and methods o f research. T h e literature consists o f chapters two and three. Chapter t w o provides a h is tory o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens f r o m its beginnings as a soc ia l movement 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 provides a r e v i e w o f empowerment and c o m m u n i t y development. A history o f each theory is presented and the concepts are def ined. A n empowerment f ramework has also been adapted to assess the l e v e l o f empowerment the case studies have reached. T h e research f indings are presented and analysed i n chapters four a n d f ive . A n introduct ion 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 for each c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , and c o m m o n procedures and goals are described. T h e research is discussed and an analysis is d r a w n i n chapter f ive. Chapter s ix concludes by d r a w i n g out the major f indings from the research. 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 are considered a long w i t h areas for further research. 9 Chapter Two The History of Community Kitchens 2.0 Introduct ion "Essentially, community kitchens are about people connecting with people, helping themselves and each other, and building community around food. " A n d r e a T a y l o r F o r m e r 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 . 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 members because the participants learn s k i l l s such as c o o k i n g and/or cooperation, 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 organised b y people f r o m a l l w a l k s o f l i fe . S o m e c o m m u n i t y kitchens operate to ensure access to f o o d and save m o n e y , w h i l e other ki tchens 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 , explore n e w cuis ine (e.g. vegetarian cooking) or social ise around food. N o t a l l c o m m u n i t y ki tchens are based o n f inanc ia l need; i n m a n y c o m m u n i t y kitchens the feeding o f the soul is as important as f i l l i n g the stomach. S o c i a l interaction is an important element i n m a n y c o m m u n i t y ki tchens and some groups bel ieve that eating together after the m e a l has been prepared is as important as preparing 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 lay an important role b y connect ing people and b u i l d i n g c o m m u n i t y through the use o f food. A c c o r d i n g to L u c h o v a n Isschot, "sheer need m a y dr ive m a n y [participants] to organise c o m m u n a l kitchens [but] the fr iendships and the posi t ive energy that are developed i n these kitchens encourage a sense o f co l lect ive purpose ." (van Isschot, 1996). 10 A number o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens exist for seniors, s ingle parents, y o u n g mothers-at-risk and n e w immigrants . F o r n e w immigrants , the part ic ipat ion i n a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n provides an opportunity to social ise as w e l l as learn n e w s k i l l s such as shopping for f o o d i n a n e w country. F o r s ingle parents, c o m m u n i t y kitchens help to save both t ime and m o n e y (because f o o d is prepared i n b u l k ) , and since the f o o d being prepared is for personal c o n s u m p t i o n , c o o k i n g can take place anywhere. I f the group is s m a l l , c o o k i n g can be done o n a rotat ional basis i n each m e m b e r s ' home. L a r g e r groups m a y prefer to meet i n a c o m m o n place, such as i n the ki tchens o f c o m m u n i t y centres, ne ighbourhood 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 funded i n part (through 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 meals more affordable. I n some neighbourhoods, c o m m u n i t y kitchens have led 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 development; 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 kitchens. 2.1 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 T h e f o r m a t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens 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 inf lat ion rates and the uneven dis tr ibut ion o f f o o d a i d . K n o w n as "comedores p o p u l a r e s " 1 , the first c o m m u n i t y kitchens appeared i n 1978 as a result o f I M F structural adjustment programs w h i c h cut real incomes and greatly reduced or 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 (Lenten, 1993 and L i n d and F a r m e l o , 1996). T o combat this p r o b l e m , 1 According to Lenten (1993), "comedores" literally means dining-room. In English, "comedores" has been loosely translated to kitchen. 11 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 or c o o k i n g equipment) and t ime to c o o k for a number o f famil ies at o n c e 2 m a k i n g f o o d preparation m o r e efficient. A m o v e m e n t started and used by w o m e n , comedores populares are c o m m o n l y located i n "pueblos j o v e n e s " - shantytowns and s lums i n Peru 's poorest neighbourhoods. I n 1978, there were 100 kitchens; compared to today where approximately 10,000 kitchens feed a lmost three m i l l i o n people 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 , E c u a d o r , C o l o m b i a and A r g e n t i n a , a long w i t h m a n y c o m m u n i t y k i tchens i n operat ion throughout N o r t h A m e r i c a . W i t h such a large populat ion r e l y i n g o n comedores populares, several c o m m u n i t y ki tchens i n P e r u have j o i n e d to f o r m the Federat ion 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 provides 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 extend b e y o n d f o o d security and into nat ional p o l i c y debates; issues such as transportation, r u n n i n g water and p u b l i c health. T h e m o v e m e n t has enough o f a p o l i t i c a l v o i c e to be considered P e r u ' s most p o w e r f u l popular l o b b y i n g movement . A n activist organisation, the federation also oversees the purchasing o f b u l k i tems, micro-enterprise activit ies and retraining programs w h i l e the kitchens p r o v i d e a place to raise awareness about other c o m m u n i t y issues ( L i n d and 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 should be noted that not everyone i n P e r u is pleased w i t h the operat ion 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 2 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). 12 opposed to the comedores populares because it is bel ieved that a w o m a n ' s par t ic ipat ion i n a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n is because o f a husband and/or father's i n a b i l i t y to p r o v i d e for h is w i f e and f a m i l y (Lenten, 1993 and L i n d and F a r m e l o , 1996). M a n y comedores populares 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 Path (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 Party o f P e r u , is a guer i l la movement that began i n the early 1970s (Lenten, 1993). M e m b e r s o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens have received 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 kitchens to operate underground ( L i n d and 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 such as c o m m u n i t y kitchens, because p o w e r f u l soc ia l and 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 Path, whose m o v e m e n t relies o n fear. Despite these barriers, comedores populares continue to operate i n P e r u because the soc ia l network and food subsidies they prov ide , have made their existence necessary for s u r v i v a l 3 . W h i l e the n o t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens 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 ime and m o n e y is not a n e w concept and has existed for hundreds o f years. A t the turn 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 barn-raisings and q u i l t i n g bees. S i m i l a r to today 's c o m m u n i t y kitchens, these events were h i g h l y soc ia l i sed c o m m u n i t y gatherings assembled around food. 3 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). 13 2.2 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 There are a number 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 ki tchens i n C a n a d a is not avai lable but the m o v e m e n t ' s popular i ty and repl icabi l i ty can 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-f ive c o m m u n i t y ki tchens i n operat ion throughout the prov ince . T o d a y , there are forty c o m m u n i t y kitchens 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 kitchens i n V a n c o u v e r are f o r m e d by groups f r o m various s o c i a l backgrounds and f r o m a l l w a l k s o f l i fe . T h e c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n network includes kitchens organised b y seniors (both m e n and 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 rs t N a t i o n s and welfare recipients. W i t h i n the c i ty there are a range o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens that inc lude a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen i n a s ing le-room occupancy hotel ( S R O ) , a c a n n i n g group for n e w immigrants and a gourmet c o o k i n g group; a long w i t h m a n y other c o m m u n i t y ki tchens throughout the ci ty . 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 kitchens cook once a week 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 inc lude both the c o o k i n g o f the w e e k ' s m e a l and 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 meet ing is to p l a n and organise the m e n u for the second meet ing, 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 can 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 tchens are usual ly f o u n d i n c o m m u n i t y centres, ne ighbourhood houses, schools and churches; b u i l d i n g s w h i c h have 14 large kitchens to facil itate 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 tchens are f o u n d i n V a n c o u v e r ' s N e i g h b o u r h o o d 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 advisory board w h i c h is made up o f four partners. Sponsorship 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 and 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 made b y consensus and the advisory board 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 4 to oversee the development and progress o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens. T h e p h i l o s o p h y 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 idea 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 and C r e a t i n g Opportunit ies for People to C o o k Together". T h e c o m m u n i t y development pr inc ip les 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 abi l i ty o f i n d i v i d u a l s and the c o m m u n i t y to participate effect ively i n the decis ions that affect their l ives; • to increase the abi l i ty o f c o m m u n i t y members to identify and act o n c o m m o n issues; • to ensure that the c o m m u n i t y or group develops independence and o w n e r s h i p over the i n i t i a t i v e 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 ied into the f o o d bank through alternative f o o d dis tr ibut ion systems such as the " G o o d F o o d B o x " i n T o r o n t o or 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 and G o o d F o o d B a g distribute fresh produce and 4 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. 5 These principles are based on the community development model created by the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. 15 extra f o o d accumulated b y the food banks and/or donated b y sponsors, a long w i t h recipes to fami l ies i n need. F o r m a n y fami l ies , the addit ional bag or b o x o f f o o d each m o n t h is the difference between a nutrit ious meal and an unhealthy but cheap alternative. F o o d security advocates see c o m m u n i t y kitchens and gardens, and alternative f o o d d is t r ibut ion 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 food management (van Isschot, 1996). 2.3 C o n c l u s i o n T h i s chapter surveyed the history o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens f r o m its beginnings as a soc ia l m o v e m e n t i n P e r u to its popular isat ion i n Greater V a n c o u v e r . In b o t h areas, the premise b e h i n d c o m m u n i t y ki tchens is to feed the body. I n P e r u , c o m m u n i t y ki tchens are p o l i t i c a l l y charged and are needed for s u r v i v a l . F o o d a id is often distributed through comedores populares and female heads o f households usual ly participate i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens to access f o o d subsidies. A network o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens k n o w n as the Federat ion 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 , and it provides a vo ice for m a n y P e r u v i a n w o m e n . T h i s organisat ion tackles a variety o f community-re lated issues and performs a number o f functions such as p r o v i d i n g micro-credi 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 soc ia 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 is administered b y an advisory board 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 and the V a n c o u v e r H e a l t h B o a r d ) . A network 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 coordinator is h i r e d b y the board to oversee the program. T h e coordinator 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 of this thesis is to explore the use of community kitchens as an empowerment tool and whether they can be used in community development (CD). In the previous chapter, a general history of community kitchens was provided. This chapter continues with the literature review by defining empowerment and community development within the context of this thesis. A history of 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 in the thesis as a benchmark to assess the level of 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 in a variety of professions. The concept of empowerment is studied in fields as diverse as community planning, social work, psychology and health care. Each discipline has its own understanding of the term, but it is generally agreed that "empowerment is the process of 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 of 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 self-help. 3.1.1 The history of empowerment theory The concept of empowerment was popularised in the late 1960s and is associated with the c iv i l 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 of people who have traditionally been marginalised. A number of social development theorists argue that marginalised people empower themselves by challenging power relations and by taking power from those in power (Mayo and Craig, 1995). Other theorists believe that power is a resource that has potential or is present in every person or community. People and communities are empowered when they tap into the power and/or potential power that already exists in 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 of their agendas (Mayo and Craig, 1995). The literature in 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 of 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 of the argument, the definition of 19 empowerment is restricted o n l y to situations o f total se l f help w h i l e at the other end, the act o f par t ic ipat ion i s e m p o w e r i n g i n itself. S o c i a l development theorists, part icular ly feminists , have recently chal lenged the i d e o l o g y o f empowerment . A c c o r d i n g to R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l , the c r i t i c i s m stems f r o m the react ion o f po l i t i c ians , bureaucrats and professionals w h o "have taken empowerment 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" and whose p o l i c i e s ( i n the n a m e o f empowerment) continue to disadvantage marginal i sed people, part icular ly w o m e n and c h i l d r e n ( R i s t o c k and 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 term empowerment to encourage c o m m u n i t i e s and programs to develop organisations to f u l f i l the roles that governments are supposed to p lay . C o m m u n i t y organisations and c o m m u n i t y development specialists are concerned that governments are gradual ly expect ing c o m m u n i t i e s to manage and take responsib i l i ty o f the soc ia l welfare network o f its c i t izens d u r i n g a t i m e w h e n soc ia l welfare budgets are be ing reduced. A number o f government reports, such as " E m p o w e r m e n t : A N e w Covenant 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 " point to this trend. 3.1.2 A d e f i n i t i o n 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 goal o f empowerment is m o s t often expressed as an increase i n personal p o w e r . " (Gutierrez, 1995). F o r this thesis, the concept o f empowerment is developed w i t h i n the context o f c o m m u n i t y development where the process is achieved through self-help, part ic ipat ion and n e t w o r k i n g and where the outcome c a n vary f r o m personal 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 def in i t ion o f empowerment that applies w i l l also change. R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l (1996) provide a number o f definit ions to define empowerment f r o m i n d i v i d u a l , interpersonal, organisational and societal perspectives. I n general , R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l define empowerment as "the means to enhance our abi l i ty to contro l our o w n l i v e s . " ( R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l , 1996). A c c o r d i n g to their def init ions, empowerment at an i n d i v i d u a l leve l is to d r a w inner strength b y taking control o f a s ituation and asserting oneself. Interpersonally, it means the sharing o f resources for mutual benefit. Organisat ional ly , e m p o w e r m e n t is the abi l i ty to w o r k democrat ica l ly by part ic ipat ing equal ly and sharing i n d e c i s i o n and 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 , empowerment is a p o l i t i c a l act that can 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 something done ' t o ' or ' f o r ' someone" (adapted f r o m Lather b y R i s t o c k and P e n n e l l , 1996). A n i n d i v i d u a l ' s part ic ipat ion i n their o w n decisions is an important element o f self-help and the empowerment process. T h e process is cumulat ive . Increased part ic ipat ion c a n lead to higher levels o f confidence, self-esteem and knowledge. T h i s i n turn, leads to further part ic ipat ion u n t i l an objective (usual ly 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 dist inct ions made between " e m p o w e r i n g organisat ions" and " 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 increasing the confidence and competencies o f its members w h i l e e m p o w e r e d organisations e m p o w e r and influence the environment and/or c o m m u n i t y surrounding the organisat ion. W i t h these dist inctions 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 organisations because the process o f e m p o w e r m e n t tends to occur at the i n d i v i d u a l level . I f used as an empowerment tool i n c o m m u n i t y development , c o m m u n i t y kitchens are empowered organisations because o f their influence o n c o m m u n i t i e s . 3.2 C o m m u n i t y Development Chr is tenson, Fendley and R o b i n s o n state that "the p r i m a r y goal o f c o m m u n i t y development is to help people improve their soc ia l and e c o n o m i c situations." (Christenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n , 1989). S i m i l a r to empowerment , a number o f definitions are avai lable i n the literature to describe C D . It has been a c k n o w l e d g e d b y c o m m u n i t y development practit ioners that i n the 1990s, the term has i n some w a y s , become a catchphrase. This is because c o m m u n i t y development has become an important issue for the 1990s as federal and p r o v i n c i a l government cutbacks make it m o r e di f f icul t for dependent communit ies to deal w i t h Community Excellence: Changing from the Inside Out Source: Trie Conference Board o l Canada. Figure 3.1 22 l o c a l problems (Christenson, Fendley and R o b i n s o n , 1989). M a n y organisations are incorporat ing the term " c o m m u n i t y development" w i t h i n their proposals and mandates to attract more funding . 3.2.1 T h e history o f c o m m u n i t y development T h e literature reveals that the concept o f c o m m u n i t y development first emerged i n 1942 and was introduced 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 "promote better l i v i n g condit ions for the w h o l e c o m m u n i t y w i t h active part ic ipat ion, and i f possible , init iat ive o f the c o m m u n i t y . " ( O ' G o r m a n , 1995). T h i s de f in i t ion attracted the attention o f various organisations interested i n development and was s o o n adapted to fit these inst i tut ions ' mandates. I n the 1950s, the U n i t e d N a t i o n s ( U N ) began u s i n g the term " c o m m u n i t y deve lopment" to describe self-help init iat ives tak ing place i n d e v e l o p i n g countries ( O ' G o r m a n , 1995). C D was promoted by both governments and institutions, s u c h as the U N , as part o f the f o l l o w i n g : movements to decolonise A f r i c a and A s i a ; attempts to modernise underdeveloped agricultural societies and " b a c k w a r d " regions o f developed countries; and the W a r o n Poverty established b y governments i n more affluent Western countries. (Campfens , 1997). I n 1963, the U n i t e d N a t i o n s arr ived at its o w n def in i t ion w h i c h , as noted b y Chr is tenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n (1989), was later used as the basis for c o m m u n i t y development w o r k . T h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s ' def in i t ion was: "the process b y w h i c h the efforts o f the people themselves are united w i t h those o f governmental authorities to i m p r o v e the e c o n o m i c , soc ia l and cultural condi t ions o f c o m m u n i t i e s , to integrate these communit ies into the l i fe o f a nat ion, and to enable t h e m to contribute f u l l y to nat ional progress. T h i s c o m p l e x o f processes is , therefore, made up o f two essential elements: the part ic ipat ion b y the people themselves i n efforts to i m p r o v e their leve l o f l i v i n g , w i t h as m u c h rel iance 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 Mitchell-Weaver (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 government 's support for programs whose purpose was to i m p r o v e the soc io-economic condit ions o f marginal i sed 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 government 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, hous ing , s k i l l s t ra ining and s m a l l business development (Abucar , 1995). T h e 1980s saw c o m m u n i t y development shift f r o m grassroots approaches to sophist icated 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 (1995), this was 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 received f i n a n c i a l support f r o m a variety o f p u b l i c and private sources. F u n d i n g p r o v i d e d the organisations 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 publ ic-pr ivate partnerships between these organisations and the government. T h i s shift, however , f r o m the s i m p l e to the sophist icated has i n some ways , resulted i n a "corporat isat ion" o f c o m m u n i t y development away f r o m advocates for the marginal i sed to partners i n land development and speculat ion ( M i t c h e l l -W e a v e r , 1990). T h i s was not the case i n C a n a d a where c o m m u n i t y development i n the 1980s grew o n the ideas f r o m the 1970s but w i t h a more hol i s t i c approach to c o m m u n i t y development that emphasised c o m m u n i t y e c o n o m i c self-sufficiency (Abucar , 1995). B u t at the same t ime, there was a g r o w i n g interest i n c o m m u n i t y development a m o n g both non-governmental organisations ( N G O s ) and i n the voluntary sector that l i n k e d c o m m u n i t y development to, and sustained, its grassroots past (Campfens, 1997). C o m m u n i t y development has become an important issue i n N o r t h A m e r i c a n cit ies as government cutbacks have made it d i f f icul t for communit ies to obtain 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 development organisations are able to f a l l back o n private sources, C a n a d a does not share the same history o f phi lanthropy. In the 1990s, a g r o w i n g concern is the fear that the term has become a catchphrase and an opportunity for the state to sh irk its soc ia l duties. W h i l e c o m m u n i t y development has received support f r o m a l l levels o f government, it is often because c o m m u n i t y organisations and init iat ives have f i l l e d the roles the state used to p lay but wi thout the required funding. A s M a y o states, "there has been o f f i c i a l support for c o m m u n i t y part ic ipat ion and c o m m u n i t y development f r o m international agencies through to government and l o c a l government organisations . . . b u t . . . reductions . . . i n a i d to prec ise ly the types o f c o m m u n i t y organisat ion 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 point b y saying that government support o f c o m m u n i t y development " i s admirable . . . b u t . . . might also be regarded as mere ly 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 and 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) points to another d i m e n s i o n o f c o m m u n i t y development that has e v o l v e d i n the 1990s. H e states that C D has tradit ional ly been treated as a l o c a l approach 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), Chris tenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n (1989), M i t c h e l l - W e a v e r (1990) and W i e w e l and G i l l s (1995) also acknowledges the "remarkable g r o w t h i n interest i n the concepts o f c o m m u n i t y and c o m m u n i t y development at l o c a l , nat ional and international leve ls . " ( C r a i g , 1998). H i s argument, however , is related to the g loba l i sa t ion o f the e c o n o m y and his b e l i e f that i n these t imes, " c o m m u n i t y development needs to rethink its approach to incorporate a g lobal d i m e n s i o n . " ( C r a i g , 1998). T h e greatest chal lenge currently fac ing C D is where to place the idea w i t h i n a g lobal context i n a w o r l d where 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 capabilit ies not only to reach exist ing goals, but also to w o r k toward a broader range and higher level o f goals." (Boothroyd, 1996). T a b l e 3.1 F o u r W a y s o f V i e w i n g C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t I. A PROCESS CD as a process moves by stages from one condition or state to the next. It involves a progression of changes in terms of specified criteria. It is a neutral, scientific term, subject to fairly precise definition and measurement expressed chiefly in social relations; e.g., change from state where one or two people or a small elite within or without local community make decisions for the rest of the people to state where people themselves make these decisions about matters of common concern; from state of minimum to one of maximum co-operation; from state where few participate to one where many participate; from state where all resources and specialists come from outside to one where local people make most use of their own resources, etc. Emphasis is upon what happens to people, socially and psychologically. II. A METHOD (Progress and Objective) CD is a means to an end; a way of working so that some goal is attained. Other methods (such as change by decree or fiat; change by use of differential rewards; change by education) may be supplementary to the CD method which seeks to carry through the stages suggested under process in order that the will of those using this method (national government, private welfare agency, or local people themselves) may be carried out. The process is guided for a particular purpose, which may prove "harmful" or "helpful" to the local community, depending upon the goal in view and the criteria of the one passing judgement. Emphasis is upon some end. 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 is important to note that there is no single v i e w o f c o m m u n i t y development and 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 is s imi lar 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 imi lar 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 Development " C o m m u n i t y development is about empowerment. It assumes that communit ies have the latent potential to identify and act u p o n their o w n issues, w i t h only m i n i m a l outside interference." (Hannis , 1988). In this statement, Hannis equates community 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 should 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, looks at the distr ibution o f power and h o w an indiv idua l or a group can attain power or change power structures. M e a n w h i l e , community development, as described by Christenson, Fendley and R o b i n s o n , " i m p l i e s improvement, growth and change" w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y whether it relates to government pol ic ies , economic activities or institution b u i l d i n g (Christenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n , 1989). W h i l e community development encompasses many aspects o f empowerment, empowerment is only one element o f many i n community development. A s mentioned by F l o r i n and Wandersman, and Rappaport, "empowerment is a mechanism b y w h i c h people, organizations, and communit ies gain mastery over their affairs." ( F l o r i n and Wandersman, 1990 and Rappaport, 1987). It is m y contention that empowerment is a tool 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 not ion. 3.4 T h e F r a m e w o r k to be Tested T h e framework 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 empowerment tool i n community development is based o n the "ladder o f empowerment" that was produced b y E l i zabeth M . R o c h a . T h i s framework was designed to be used speci f ical ly b y planners 29 whose w o r k focuses o n economic development, c o m m u n i t y participation, and grassroots coalit ions, formed around the p r o v i s i o n o f goods and services (Rocha, 1997). R o c h a ' s ladder o f empowerment defines f ive types o f empowerment that moves 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 moves f r o m i n d i v i d u a l to community empowerment by b u i l d i n g o n the outcome 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 empowerment to occur, i n d i v i d u a l empowerment must take place first. The five types o f empowerment as described by R o c h a (1997) are: T y p e one - atomistic i n d i v i d u a l empowerment: Considered the traditional understanding o f empowerment, 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 by 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 coping ski l ls (or l i fe ski l ls) to alter the emotional or phys ica l state o f the indiv idual . T y p e two - embedded i n d i v i d u a l empowerment: T h i s f o r m o f empowerment also focuses o n the i n d i v i d u a l but the emphasis is o n the indiv idual ' s environment and its effect o n the person. T h e most important setting for this type o f empowerment is the organisation and h o w the i n d i v i d u a l relates to others i n that structure, what role the indiv idua l is a l lowed to occupy, and h o w m u c h dec is ion-making power 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 form, is mediated by an expert or professional and 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. The 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 knowledge and information required for i n d i v i d u a l or c o m m u n i t y dec is ion-making and action. 30 T y p e four - socio-pol i t ical empowerment: T h i s f o r m o f empowerment is based o n "transformative p o p u l i s m " , where the focus o f community development is to develop "the people w h o comprise the c o m m u n i t y as the first priority, then . . . the phys ica l development o f the neighbourhoods i n w h i c h people l i v e . " (Rocha, 1997). The emphasis o f socio-pol i t ical empowerment is to challenge and change the c o m m u n i t y ' s social , pol i t ica l , or economic relations i n a w a y that w i l l benefit its inhabitants. T y p e five - po l i t i ca l empowerment: The focus o f this type o f empowerment is o n the c o m m u n i t y (usually a marginal ised group) where a community is " a network o f l i k e - m i n d e d indiv iduals w i t h or without a geographic d imens ion as its defining characteristic" (Rocha, 1997). T h e process o f empowerment here, is po l i t i ca l action through institutional change and the fight for expanded access to resources such as: education, housing, employment, government representation, etc. Individuals are empowered 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 imi lar to R i s t o c k and Pennel l ' s (1995). R e v i s i t i n g R i s t o c k and Pennel l ' s (1995) definit ion, similarit ies are observed. Table 3.2 E m p o w e r m e n t Types Rocha (1997) Ristock and Pennell (1995) Type one: atomistic individual empowerment Individual empowerment: drawing on inner strength to take control of a situation and assert oneself. Type two: embedded individual empowerment Interpersonal empowerment: sharing resources for mutual benefit or working together co-operatively. Type three: mediated empowerment Professionalised empowerment: facilitating and collaborating rather than prescribing and treating. Type four: socio-political empowerment Organisational empowerment: working democratically, participating equally, and sharing in decision-making and policy development in the work environment. Type five: political empowerment 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 two sets o f definitions, a framework to test empowerment has been adapted f r o m R o c h a ' s (1997) ladder o f empowerment. T h i s framework was created to dist inguish between the f ive types o f empowerment and is used i n this thesis to assess to w h i c h level o f empowerment a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen may have reached. Table 3.3 E m p o w e r m e n t Framework. Atomistic, Individual Embedded, Interpersonal Mediated, Professional Socio-political, Organisational Political, Societal Locus • individual • individual • individual • community • individual • community • community Goals • personal satisfaction • increased coping ability • personal satisfaction • competence in negotiating daily environment • knowledge and information for proper decision making • individual development • expanded access to community resources • community benefits • expanded access to community services, goods and rights • community benefits Processes • life skills • self-help • participation • sharing resources • cooperation • facilitating and collaborating • organisational participation • collaborative grassroots action • working democratically • participating equally • sharing in decision-making • political action, voting, protest • political representation Adapted from Rocha (1997) and Ristock and Pennell (1995). T h e locus is the intended arena o f change. T h e goals are the intended outcomes o f each empowerment type and the processes refers to a variety o f methods that might be used to reach these goals. T o assess the level o f empowerment reached, the processes and outcomes o f each c o m m u n i t y k i tchen w i l l be reviewed. T h i s framework w i l l be used as a benchmark, to test whether, and to what level , c o m m u n i t y kitchens empower its participants. 32 3.5 C o n c l u s i o n T h e focus o f this chapter was to define the concepts o f empowerment and c o m m u n i t y development as it is being used for this thesis. M a n y discipl ines such as psychology , socia l w o r k and socio logy discuss empowerment and community development, but each f ie ld has its o w n unique interpretation o f these two ideas. E m p o w e r m e n t as defined i n this thesis has many definitions. General ly , empowerment is defined as a process that individuals undertake to improve their social , economic and p o l i t i c a l situations. H o w e v e r , the concept o f empowerment is complex and the def ini t ion o f empowerment can change depending o n the intended target. W i t h i n this thesis, definitions were p r o v i d e d to define empowerment 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 complex. I n this thesis, c o m m u n i t y development is described as the betterment o f people by people, through change that contributes to a c o m m u n i t y ' s social and economic wel l -being. Ideally, development occurs through social act ion that is achieved 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 level o f empowerment a c o m m u n i t y ki tchen has attained. U s e d as a benchmark, the c o m m u n i t y ki tchen's empowerment processes and outcomes are observed and reviewed against the framework. T h e framework is appl ied 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 community kitchens that were selected for the case studies. 33 Chapter Four Introduction to the Case Studies: Descriptions 4.0 Introduct ion 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 and their numbers continue to rise. A higher prof i le i n the c i ty through the m e d i a and 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 tchens ' popular i ty . I n recent years, c o m m u n i t y ki tchens have doubled , increasing f r o m twenty i n 1996 to forty i n 1998. T h e purpose o f this chapter is to provide an introduct ion to the seven 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 ki tchens was based o n the f o l l o w i n g cr i ter ia: the length o f t ime the group has/had been c o o k i n g together, the soc ia l m a k e u p o f the group, and the locat ion. A cross-section o f newer and older groups was desired to compare and contrast group dynamics . Participants o f a l l ages f r o m a l l soc ia l incomes were also targeted to observe h o w and w h y c o m m u n i t y kitchens were be ing used. F i n a l l y , a select ion o f c o m m u n i t y ki tchens f r o m across the c i ty were considered to determine the effect o f locat ion. A b r i e f history was wri t ten for each c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. C o m m o n elements such as s i m i l a r organisat ional procedures and goals have also been described. 4.1 His tor ies T h e B a r c l a y M a n o r B r e a d Burners T h e B a r c l a y M a n o r B r e a d Burners has been c o o k i n g for f ive 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 men. T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n finances i t se l f and is m o r e l i k e a c o o k i n g c l u b but identifies i tse l f as a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. T h e B a r c l a y 34 M a n o r B r e a d Burners are a very social group and the act o f eating together is as important 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 Burners sa id that the m a i n p r i o r i t y for the group and the reason w h y he started it is "to get senior m e n , such as mysel f , out o f the house ." Part ic ipants often social ise outside o f the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. S o m e members 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 ment ioned, " I t ' s a g o o d t h i n g for an exchange o f ideas, and i t ' s also a social t h i n g . " 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 a c i f i c H o t e l Before d iscuss ing 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 descr ipt ion 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 locations o f other c o m m u n i t y kitchens are not worthy for d iscuss ion, 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 Eastside should be noted. T h e D o w n t o w n Eastside is considered to be the poorest n e i g h b o u r h o o d i n Canada. A total o f 16,076 people, 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 bounded by C h i n a t o w n o n one side and histor ic G a s t o w n o n the other. U s e d needles litter the streets and the sale o f cocaine, crack and h e r o i n is prevalent. Prost i tut ion is also c o m m o n and the area is k n o w n for the number o f unso lved disappearances and murders 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 household i n c o m e is $10,586 and the area contains 7 7 . 9 % o f V a n c o u v e r ' s single r o o m occupancy ( S R O ) units. ( M u l g r e w , 1998). I n the summer o f 1996, the D o w n t o w n Eastside Residents A s s o c i a t i o n ( D E R A ) conducted a survey to see i f there was a need for c o m m u n i t y kitchens i n the neighbourhood's s i n g l e - r o o m occupancy hotels ( S R O s ) . M a n y o f the S R O rooms do not have ki tchens i n their units and hotplates (because o f fire by laws) are not a l l o w e d . T h e results f r o m the survey ident i f ied a need for c o m m u n i t y kitchens and support f r o m l o c a l organisations was indicated. Support was strong because w h i l e there are a number o f kitchens i n operat ion i n the d o w n t o w n eastside, they were not accessible to the populat ion l i v i n g i n the S R O s 1 . I n M a r c h 1997, 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 p i l o t project, was 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 Res idence , D o d s o n H o t e l , O p p e n h e i m e r Park, the P a c i f i c H o t e l , Pendeira H o t e l and 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 Carnegie Centre, and C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n s . F u n d i n g was 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 Department to purchase basic k i tchen and 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 funded the k i t c h e n through the p r o v i s i o n o f food. 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 was i n operation u n t i l the end o f 1997. It has recently been restarted w i t h leftover funds donated b y various 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 week (except d u r i n g welfare week) , o n Sundays. T h e k i t c h e n receives an average o f twenty to twenty-f ive participants (a l l o f w h o m are o n soc ia l assistance), approximately one-third o f the hotel's p o p u l a t i o n 2 . T h e numbers fluctuate depending o n the t ime o f the m o n t h but the coordinator has found that the c loser the w e e k is to the welfare cheque issue date, the greater the number o f participants. M o s t o f the members are male but one-fifth o f the k i t c h e n is female 3 and ninety percent o f the participants return each week. 1 Community kitchens in the downtown eastside focus on women, children and families - not the single population that tends to inhabit SROs. 2 Seventy five residents live in the Pacific Hotel. 3 The number of female participants has increased. In the first community kitchen at the Pacific Hotel, only 10% of its members were female. 36 Jubi lee H o u s e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n . T h e Jubi lee 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 began i n 1995. It was i n operat ion 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 South Jubi lee H o u s e H o u s i n g Soc iety 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 Jubi lee H o u s e s was i n v o l v e d i n the construct ion and d i d n ' t have t ime to organise the k i tchen. T h e D o w n t o w n South Jubi lee H o u s e H o u s i n g Society manages three b u i l d i n g s ; a l l o f w h i c h are subsidised h o u s i n g . There are three hundred people w h o l i v e i n the residences. T h e majori ty are m e n ( o n l y thirty w o m e n l i v e there) whose average age is f i f ty-f ive, 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 tchen was restarted i n February, 1998. S o m e o f the o r i g i n a l members s t i l l attend but there are a number o f n e w participants. There are m o r e people i n the second k i t c h e n than there were i n the first and a f e w female participants (there were no w o m e n i n the first k i t c h e n ) 4 . 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 had eight members from the t w o operating houses w h i l e the current k i t c h e n has approximately twelve members (the same twelve do not a lways attend) f r o m a l l three houses. K i w a s s a C a n n i n g K i t c h e n 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 four 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 is 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 is to preserve f o o d to store at home. 4 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. 37 F o o d items are funded through the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k and occas ional ly , recipes are adapted to take advantage o f the fruits and vegetables avai lable. I n the past, the k i t c h e n also received support i n the f o r m o f jars , l ids , 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 . Other sources o f funding inc lude B C Hothouse and private donations. T h e k i t c h e n is act ively pursuing ideas to sustain i t se l f f inancia l ly . 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 help o f the coordinator o f the k i t c h e n , and Vancouver ' s C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n Coordinator , the group is h o p i n g to se l l their canned items to l o c a l b e d and breakfasts and/or shops to generate an 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 for w o m e n and has been i n operat ion since September, 1997. There are ten w o m e n w h o participate from neighbourhoods 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 west 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 tchen is o n gourmet c o o k i n g . T h e group 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 pub. S i m i l a r to the B r e a d Burners , this c o m m u n i t y k i tchen is also self-sufficient i n terms o f f inanc ing . Because the emphasis is o n "gourmet c o o k i n g " , c o o k i n g expenses are s l ight ly 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 need but is used by its members to social ise and save t ime. S L I C K publishes its o w n newsletter and has organised several " f o o d e x p l o r a t i o n s " to Seattle and the O k a n a g a n for w i n e tours and f o o d tastings. S L I C K ' s coordinator, is act ive ly 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 and 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 and 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 Coordinator , to create a c o o k b o o k featuring recipes used 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 K i t c h e n . T h e 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 K i t c h e n is part o f the Healthiest B a b i e s Poss ib le P r o g r a m and has been c o o k i n g since February 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 tchen for pregnant teenagers and y o u n g mothers at r i sk . T h e participants receive soc ia l assistance and 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 nutrit ious m e a l a week. Part ic ipants 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 , var ious grocers and independent donors. T h e purpose o f the p r o g r a m is to de l iver a bag o f f o o d to each participant once a m o n t h , the week before welfare cheques are due, to ensure that both the mother and the baby has access to nutrit ious food. T h e Y o u n g M o m s and Y o u n g M o m s T o B e is part o f the Healthiest 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 $20,000 annual grant f r o m H e a l t h Canada. T h e premise b e h i n d Healthiest B a b i e s Poss ib le 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 tchen, the grant also covers the operating costs o f the G o o d F o o d B a g , a F irs t N a t i o n s Pre-Nata l H e a l i n g C i r c l e and the coordinator 's salary. T h e V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k also supports this program. 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 tchen has been c o o k i n g for nearly f ive years. T h e k i t c h e n meets at Crabtree Corner i n V a n c o u v e r ' s d o w n t o w n eastside. T h e group 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 tchen is unique because it is m u l t i -generational. T h e part icipants ' ages range f r o m under eighteen to the mid-fort ies . M o t h e r s had introduced their daughters to the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen. T h e daughters i n turn j o i n e d a n d brought their c h i l d r e n to the nursery and daycare located at Crabtree Corner . T h i s c o m m u n i t y k i tchen is funded by V a n c o u v e r ' s F o o d B a n k and through c o m m u n i t y programs at Crabtree Corner . T h e group both eats together and brings meals h o m e to their fami l ies . A n important aspect o f the meal however , is the " s m u d g i n g " 5 that takes place before the group 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 very soc ia l and m a n y o f the members social ise 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 chi ldren. 4.2 C o o k i n g and Organisat ional Processes E x c e p t for Jubi lee H o u s e and S L I C K ( w h i c h both c o o k once a month) , a l l o f the c o m m u n i t y ki tchens described above meet o n a w e e k l y basis 6 . I n general, most o f the c o m m u n i t y ki tchens f o l l o w the same pattern where h a l f the group cooks the meals w h i l e the other h a l f p lans the next session (these posit ions are usual ly rotated either w e e k l y or m o n t h l y ) . Rec ipes are selected and ingredients are writ ten d o w n and g i v e n to either the coordinator or a 5 "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. 6 The Pacific Hotel community kitchen is also an exception. It cooks once a week except during welfare cheque week. 40 designated person. Coordinators i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens that folly re ly o n funding u s u a l l y fax their l ist 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 and m i s s i n g ingredients are purchased ( w i t h m o n e y f r o m funding or donor organisations) one or t w o days before the c o o k i n g session. In the Jubilee H o u s e and the P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y ki tchens, ingredients are l o w i n cost because the recipes are usual ly quite s imple . T h e participants i n these t w o kitchens prefer hearty "meat and 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 and sandwiches served i n soup kitchens). S o m e c o m m u n i t y kitchens part ia l ly or f u l l y f inance themselves. I n these c o m m u n i t y ki tchens, a person is designated (either a permanent or rotated posi t ion) to delegate the organisat ional tasks. I n some kitchens, the grocery l ist is d i v i d e d a m o n g the group members and the cost o f the meals are ta l l i ed at the end o f the next c o o k i n g session. U s u a l l y , a par t ia l ly funded k i t c h e n has a designated person to col lect 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 tchen, the cost o f ingredients w i l l vary. A part ia 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 dol lar whereas a gourmet k i t c h e n such as S L I C K , c a n r u n tabs as h i g h as fourteen dol lars (per person). T h e amount 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 ki tchens, 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 kitchens, a week 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 and the w a y i n w h i c h they operate is usua l ly dec ided through 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 C o n c l u s i o n In this chapter, seven c o m m u n i t y kitchens were selected as case studies f r o m a poss ible forty. A b r i e f history o f each was p r o v i d e d to place the thesis i n context. T h e case studies var ied a great deal but c o m m o n elements such as the c o o k i n g and organisat ional processes, and goals were s i m i l a r . T h e c o m m u n i t y kitchens gathered to social ise, create better access to nutrit ious f o o d , and p r o v i d e an opportunity for people to learn. In 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 tchens e m p o w e r their participants, and the opportunities and constraints to u s i n g c o m m u n i t y ki tchens as an empowerment t o o l . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens to foster c o m m u n i t y development is also examined. 43 Chapter Five Research Findings and Analysis 5.0 Introduct ion T h i s chapter discusses and analyses the research f indings. In format ion for the case studies was gathered by us ing three different research methods w h i c h were: part ic ipant observat ion, key informant interviews and a survey. A s ment ioned i n Chapter O n e , participant observat ion was used 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 and dur ing leaders workshops. K e y informant interviews were conducted w i t h c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders 1 (please refer to A p p e n d i x I for key informants and A p p e n d i x II for the i n t e r v i e w questions) and a survey (please refer to A p p e n d i x III for the questionnaire) was 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 tchens e m p o w e r their participants and to analyse the use o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens as an empowerment t o o l i n c o m m u n i t y development. T h e first part o f this chapter presents the f indings w h i l e the second h a l f discusses h o w c o m m u n i t y kitchens empower and i f they can be used to enhance c o m m u n i t y development. 1 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. 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 comfortable do y o u feel about expressing y o u r feel ings, even feelings about people i n the group? Unsafe Very safe T h e survey also tr ied to assess h o w w e l l the group communicates . W h e n asked o n a scale o f one to f ive h o w w e l l the group communicates 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 and f ive m e a n i n g communicates w e l l ) , 4 4 % o f the participants answered that their group communicates w e l l . N o one said that their group communicates p o o r l y . F i g u r e 5.2 H o w w e l l does the group communicate w i t h each other? 45%-40%-35%. 30%. 25%. 20%. 15%. 10% 5% 0% i Communicates poorly 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 Burners described a situation where self-help was used to e m p o w e r a participant that had been disempowered. T h i s member , an active part ic ipant w i t h i n the group, h a d suffered a stroke and was left w i t h partial use o f his left a r m . A f t e r recover ing at h o m e and learning to l i v e w i t h his paralysis , 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 his peers that he d i d not th ink he w o u l d be able to continue c o o k i n g w i t h them; a thought that d i d not please h i m . T h e group however, 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 be l ieved he c o u l d s t i l l contribute and he was g i v e n tasks that d i d not require the use o f b o t h hands (such as m i x i n g ingredients). A sense o f accompl ishment was achieved w h i c h encouraged this m e m b e r to continue to participate i n the k i tchen. H e admits that this experience has also g i v e n h i m the confidence to take back his l i fe 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 and 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 ment ioned to their coordinator that they are p l a n n i n g to further their educat ion i n careers related to food. A number o f these y o u n g w o m e n have not f in ished h i g h s c h o o l but because o f the s k i l l s learned and the confidence gained i n the group, they bel ieve they w i l l succeed because they enjoy learning i n the k i tchen. S o m e o f the w o m e n have already taken courses (ranging f r o m i n c o m e tax, to first a i d and 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 tchen 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 point o f letting the w o m e n k n o w o f other house activit ies. E x p o s u r e to the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen has pos i t ive ly affected other areas o f their l ives . 48 S o c i a l N e t w o r k s : A c o m m o n goal shared by m a n y c o m m u n i t y kitchens is to p r o v i d e an opportunity for participants to social ise and 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 most c o m m o n reason was to create an opportunity to social ise . A s ment ioned b y one o f the coordinators, " M y goal is to get the g ir ls out o f the house and into a place where they can interact w i t h each other because it is real ly hard 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 soc ia l l i fe . T h i s w a y they can. T h e y c o m e , they b r i n g their k i d s , they 're interacting w i t h each other, and they 're t a l k i n g about their pregnancies, c h i l d care and everything. F o r some o f them, this is the o n l y opportunity 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 tchen also provides consistency. B e i n g pregnant, g o i n g through labour and h a v i n g a baby is such an upheaval i n these g i r l s ' l ives . M a n y people come and go [ in their l ives] but at least the gir ls can count o n the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n h a p p e n i n g . " T h e survey respondents echoed this objective. A l t h o u g h a number o f the c o m m u n i t y ki tchens i n the case studies i n v o l v e populat ions whose access to f o o d is s l ight ly insecure, o n l y 9 % o f the respondents j o i n e d the k i tchen for f o o d w h i l e 1 3 % wanted to save m o n e y (see F i g u r e 5.3). T h e most c o m m o n answer was to learn ( 6 3 % ) w h i l e 4 4 % , or just under h a l f o f the respondents j o i n e d for fr iendship. I f the percentages for f u n ( 6 % ) and fr iendship are c o m b i n e d , exact ly h a l f o f the respondents participate i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens for soc ia l reasons. I n the survey, one o f the participants mentioned that it was encouraging for her to be w i t h other s ingle mothers. " T h e y are understanding. [It is] g o o d to have someone there to g ive y o u support ." 49 M a n y o f the leaders bel ieve that social networks were created a n d the effects have been posi t ive . W h e n respondents were asked i f they had connected w i t h other participants, 6 3 % sa id 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 members connected, there were m a n y different answers that ranged f r o m c a r p o o l i n g to exchanging parenting tips. A f e w respondents m e n t i o n e d that they enjoyed part ic ipat ing i n their c o m m u n i t y k i tchen because they c o u l d b r i n g their c h i l d r e n (or grandchi ldren) to the group. A s one participant said, " I learned n e w recipes and 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 coordinator at Jubi lee H o u s e saw friendships develop 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 have started to network outside o f c o o k i n g . " T h i s was 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 where "people were 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 people feel isolated and 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 even got together and started s w i t c h i n g recipes." T h e P a c i f i c H o t e l coordinator 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 cont inued to c o o k and eat together. A f t e r a w h i l e , this act iv i ty was not sustained but it indicates the potential outcome c o m m u n i t y kitchens can have i n part ic ipants ' l ives . Other s k i l l s A l o n g w i t h acquir ing c o m m u n i c a t i o n , self-help and socia l n e t w o r k i n g s k i l l s , a number o f other s k i l l s were ment ioned i n an open-ended quest ion that asked participants to identi fy the s k i l l s that they had learned. A variety o f s k i l l s were identi f ied and i n one case, a participant sa id that w i t h what she has learned, she w o u l d eventual ly l i k e to volunteer for the c o m m u n i t y ki tchens p r o g r a m . I n this case, confidence was gained, but was not identi f ied b y the respondent. 51 F i g u r e 5.5 W h a t s k i l l s do y o u think y o u ' v e learned f r o m part ic ipat ing i n this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n group? 5.1.2 Other gains A l o n g w i t h learning l i fe s k i l l s , c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n participants were 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 confidence and self-esteem. C o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n leaders not iced i n their part ic ipants, increased levels o f confidence and self-esteem over t i m e . A s one leader s a i d , " I have seen the gir ls go f r o m being pregnant and insecure i n the k i t c h e n to m a k i n g real decis ions about what they want 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 and confidence go up as they develop more c o o k i n g s k i l l s . It has been a real pos i t ive experience." Part ic ipants were asked to answer o n a scale o f one to f ive (one m e a n i n g no change and f ive m e a n i n g m u c h better) i f they felt 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 kitchens. 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 ki tchen? No change 2 3 4 Much better C l o s e to h a l f (44%) 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 tchen. O n e respondent said that he had gained m o r e conf idence i n c o o k i n g for his w i f e and others, and w i t h the sk i l l s he has learned, he is superv is ing a senior m e n ' s class. 5.1.3 Sat isfact ion O v e r a l l , b o t h the leaders and the participants appeared to be satisf ied w i t h their c o m m u n i t y ki tchens. Leaders bel ieved that participants were e m p o w e r e d b y learning l i fe s k i l l s w h i c h l e d to increased confidence and self-esteem. W h e n asked about their c o m m u n i t y kitchens, survey respondents sa id 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 ive (one m e a n i n g not at a l l and f ive m e a n i n g c o m p l e t e l y ) , to what 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, exact ly h a l f o f the participants were complete ly 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 tchen experience? Not at all 2 3 4 Completely 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 T o observe the w a y s i n w h i c h c o m m u n i t y kitchens e m p o w e r their part ic ipants , the f o l l o w i n g f r a m e w o r k (see Table 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 been created. It draws out the f indings gathered through the interviews and surveys a n d is based o n R o c h a ' s (1997) ladder o f empowerment as presented i n Chapter Three. F r o m the table, it can be observed that most o f the empowerment processes used b y c o m m u n i t y ki tchens i n the case studies, were i n d i v i d u a l l y and interpersonal ly e m p o w e r i n g . H o w e v e r , a few c lar i f icat ions should be made. In p r o f i l i n g the Jubi lee H o u s e and P a c i f i c H o t e l c o m m u n i t y kitchens, the researcher w o u l d say that both c o m m u n i t y k i tchens p r o v i d e their participants w i t h a n opportunity to learn increased c o p i n g abi l i ty but at a l e v e l that is not sustained. W h i l e part ic ipat ing i n the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, a number o f pos i t ive l i fe changes were observed, but the participants i n these two c o m m u n i t y ki tchens real ly needed to c o o k 54 cont inuous ly i n the c o m m u n i t y kitchens to sustain these posi t ive effects (it s h o u l d be noted that this was less o b v i o u s i n Jubilee 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 number o f participants d i d make attempts to continue c o o k i n g as a group, after the k i t c h e n closed. W i t h o u t the coordinator 's intervention and the organisat ion o f a f o r m a l c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, however, the participants gradual ly lost m o m e n t u m a n d reverted to their former l i festyles. In the Jubilee H o u s e c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, the outcome was 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 tchen (during the construct ion o f the t h i r d Jubi lee H o u s e ) , none o f the members offered to take his place w h i c h suggests that members 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 tchen. T h e researcher bel ieves that i n b o t h c o m m u n i t y ki tchens, a greater emphasis c o u l d be p laced o n teaching leadership s k i l l s a n d encouraging participants to take init iat ive . Nevertheless , the researcher is aware that teaching such s k i l l s m i g h t not be poss ib le i n some kitchens (such as the P a c i f i c H o t e l ) and that part ic ipat ion for these groups is enough o f a n achievement. A s ment ioned 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 Coordinator , " f o r m a r g i n a l i s e d groups, part ic ipat ion alone w i l l increase the person's confidence. F r o m there, after a p e r i o d o f t ime, the person w i l l acknowledge that he/she can actual ly get it together to participate i n his/her o w n w e l l being. A f t e r a p e r i o d o f t ime, the person w i l l do just that and s l o w l y he/she has been achiev ing what I th ink is the ult imate goal o f c o m m u n i t y k i tchens. E n c o u r a g i n g people to w o r k towards tak ing f u l l control o f their w e l l b e i n g . " 55 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 Community Kitchen Empowerment Type Process Goal The Bread Burners • individual • interpersonal • life skills • (self-help, social networking) • organisational participation • personal satisfaction • increased coping ability • competence in negotiating daily environment Jubilee House • individual • interpersonal • life skills (communication, self-help, social networking) • organisational participation • community benefits • personal satisfaction • increased coping ability (not sustainable) • community receives services and goods Kiwassa Canning Group • individual • interpersonal • life skills • (self-help, social networking) • organisational participation • personal satisfaction • increased coping ability The Pacific Hotel • individual • interpersonal • life skills • (self-help, social networking) • organisational participation • community benefits o personal satisfaction • increased coping ability (not sustainable) • community receives services and goods SLICK • individual • interpersonal • personal satisfaction • social networking • organisational participation • personal satisfaction Young Moms and Young Moms To Be • individual • interpersonal • life skills • (communication, self-help, social networking) • organisational participation • personal satisfaction • increased coping ability YWCA Crabtree Corner • individual • interpersonal • social networking • organisational participation • 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 tchens i n the case studies, the Jubi lee H o u s e and P a c i f i c H o t e l were the most active ki tchens i n reaching out to their respective c o m m u n i t i e s . Other c o m m u n i t y kitchens also managed to create a sense o f 56 c o m m u n i t y through their kitchens, but their efforts focused o n activit ies (such as h i k i n g or 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 made b y Jubi lee H o u s e and the P a c i f i c H o t e l i n v o l v e d people from their communit ies but w h o were 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 shows greater c o m m u n i t y outreach. These efforts w i l l be discussed further i n a later sect ion o f this chapter. 5.2 T h e outcome o f empowerment 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 Three, empowerment " i s most often expressed as a n increase i n personal p o w e r " and is def ined as "the process o f increasing personal , 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 , fami l ies and communit ies can take act ion to i m p r o v e their s i tuations." (Gutierrez , 1995). A r e v i e w o f the f indings s h o w that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens have the greatest impact o n i n d i v i d u a l s . A s an empowerment 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 by p r o v i d i n g an opportunity for people to effect changes i n their l ives b y learning to cope through a "process [that] consists o f altering the emot ional 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 empowerment processes discussed i n the f indings appear to exert e m o t i o n a l change. I n d i v i d u a l empowerment is effective w h e n used to address problems that " d o not require alterations i n systems, soc ia l relations, or structural changes (over w h i c h the i n d i v i d u a l has no control) for its success." ( R o c h a , 1997). I n d i v i d u a l empowerment rarely affects c o m m u n i t y change because it does not address soc ia l problems. I n d i v i d u a l empowerment however , is an important element i n c o m m u n i t y b u i l d i n g because the re lat ionship between the t w o is rec iproca l ly enhancing. A c o m m u n i t y ' s strength is often i n the hands o f its c i t izens, and 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 described by K a h n and Bender , "sel f-help groups are rarely c o m m u n i t y or ne ighborhood p o l i t i c a l action-oriented, at least at their incept ion. H o w e v e r , at later phases they m a y b e g i n to emulate and reproduce some o f these expressions v i a grassroots c i t i z e n -part ic ipat ion d u r i n g the formative stages o f soc ia l development ." ( K a h n and B e n d e r , 1985). 5.3 T h e potential for us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens to foster c o m m u n i t y development B a s e d o n the f indings , 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 development output but the concept has potential . A number 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 activit ies that benefit the c o m m u n i t y . T h e Jubi lee H o u s e and 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 coordinator o f the Jubilee H o u s e c o m m u n i t y k i tchen said that operating the k i t c h e n has benefited the Jubi lee 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 coordinator o f the k i t c h e n (who is also the c o m m u n i t y worker) organises a large c o m m u n i t y dinner i n the months that extend over f ive weeks (also k n o w n as the f ive w e e k welfare month) . T h e dinner is free for the residents but a l l the organisat ion and c o o k i n g is supposed to be done b y the people w h o l i v e i n the Jubilee Houses . T h e dinners are a lot o f w o r k because approximate ly seventy or eighty people attend but there are often f e w volunteers. H o w e v e r , s ince the creation o f the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, the k i tchen participants have offered to c o o k the m e a l . T h r o u g h their part ic ipat ion i n the k i t c h e n , they have gained confidence, are comfortable i n the k i t c h e n , and 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 members 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 required food. T h e i r part ic ipat ion a n d i n d i v i d u a l empowerment 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 was not expected b y the k i t c h e n coordinator. " T h e transi t ion was surpris ing. T o see t h e m become real ly comfortable i n their group and then offer to come a n d volunteer 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. In their case, the participants offered to prepare Chr is tmas dinner 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 number 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 implement a p r o g r a m where participants c o o k an extra m e a l and 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 have become " s h u t - i n " and have no m o t i v a t i o n to leave the hotel to access the f o o d bank or stand i n l ine at a soup k i tchen. I f participants shared their meals , the seniors w o u l d be fed and the participants w o u l d feel self-reliant. T h e coordinator (who at one point h a d also l i v e d i n a S R O ) believes that m a n y participants suffer f r o m the "handout p h e n o m e n o n " , where everything i n the d o w n t o w n eastside is a handout. S ince the c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n began operating, he has not iced a boost i n m a n y o f the part icipants ' self-esteem. Implement ing this idea 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 T h e role 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 Coordinator i n c o m m u n i t y development 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 Coordinator ( V C K C ) 2 holds a n important p o s i t i o n and can p l a y a n important role i n fostering c o m m u n i t y empowerment and development. I f w e f o l l o w R o c h a ' s (1997) descript ion, the V C K C appears to occupy a mediated empowerment p o s i t i o n where empowerment i n the f o r m o f knowledge and services are p r o v i d e d b y the 2 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. 59 "expert" ( i n this case it is the V C K C ) and 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 person w h o connects V a n c o u v e r ' s k i tchens to each other and to the larger c o m m u n i t y through a c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n newsletter. Other responsibi l i t ies inc lude organis ing workshops 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 and for leaders whose kitchens are already i n place. W o r k s h o p s cover a n u m b e r o f topics that range f r o m : organis ing a c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, to f o o d safety and c a n n i n g foods proper ly , to c o o k i n g ethnic dishes. A number 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 and other monetary sources. A fundrais ing scheme is currently be ing put together b y the V C K C , l o c a l kitchens, and 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 product ion 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 ki tchens is underway. 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 plans go through, 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 is t r ibut ion across Canada); 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 and assessing the d irect ion that they bel ieve the p r o g r a m s h o u l d m o v e toward. C o o k i n g equipment is the m a i n expense w h e n starting a k i t c h e n and once these supplies have been purchased, the V C K C w o u l d l i k e to see the participants contribute a f e w dol lars 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 l i tt le bit o f m o n e y c a n go a l o n g w a y (unless gourmet foods are be ing prepared). A s an example, the researcher attended a w o r k s h o p w i t h twelve other 60 people , and four recipes (corn bread, c h u c k w a g o n casserole, vegetarian lasagne, a n d sweet and sour lenti ls) were prepared i n four hours to feed twenty people ( w i t h leftovers). A f e w o f the ingredients were purchased i n b u l k (for example, the lenti ls) and the cost o f the m e a l came to $65.30. D i v i d e d a m o n g twenty people, the cost for each person is $3.27 for a v e r y complete m e a l . B y s i m p l i f y i n g the m e a l even more (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 contr ibut ing a dol lar , 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 make their kitchens more sustainable. B y putt ing this measure into place, k i tchens are also less l i k e l y to f o l d i f funding 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 development pr inciples 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 pr inc ip les should be revis i ted and reassessed. A s ment ioned i n Chapter T w o , the C D pr inciples 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 and the c o m m u n i t y to participate effect ively i n the decis ions that affect their l ives ; • to increase the a b i l i t y o f c o m m u n i t y members to identify and act o n c o m m o n issues; • to ensure that the c o m m u n i t y or group develops independence and o w n e r s h i p over the ini t iat ive . A s discussed prev ious ly , it appears f r o m the case studies that c o m m u n i t y k i tchens f u l f i l to some extent the first pr inc ip le . A s noted i n the questionnaires, c o m m u n i t y ki tchens do increase the abi l i ty 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 dec is ions that affect their l ives . T h e last two issues are related to c o m m u n i t y empowerment a n d development w h i c h , as stated before, c o m m u n i t y kitchens have yet to develop. A network connect ing c o m m u n i t y ki tchens m i g h t encourage participants to th ink about c o m m u n i t y development w h i c h w o u l d facil itate the development o f the last t w o pr inc ip les . A s ment ioned i n Chapter Three, Chris tenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n define c o m m u n i t y development as the betterment o f people through " p u b l i c po l i c ies , governmental act ions, e c o n o m i c act ivit ies , inst i tut ion b u i l d i n g and other types o f actions that not o n l y affect people but can be affected b y people. It focuses o n the humanistic elements i n v o l v e d i n change and h o w such change contributes to social and economic wel l -be ing ." (Christenson, Fendley and R o b i n s o n , 1989). B a s e d o n the above def ini t ion, a network 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 kitchens 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 development issues, such as transportation and access to c lean r u n n i n g water, are addressed through the Federat ion 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 network is effective because it prov ides support and strength i n numbers. B y us ing the network, c o m m u n i t y kitchens are better able to organise themselves to engage i n col lect ive action. T h e creation o f a network w o u l d be o f benefit for c o m m u n i t y ki tchens 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 between the kitchens are weak. A network c o u l d be used by kitchens to support each other, and p r o v i d e the c o m m u n i t y ki tchens p r o g r a m w i t h a v o i c e to discuss and pursue c o m m u n i t y development issues. 5.5 Constraints fac ing attempts to us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens as an empowerment t o o l R e v i e w i n g the case studies reveals that certain qualit ies need to be i n place for c o m m u n i t y ki tchens to be successful as empowerment tools and as effective organisations. T h e qualit ies ident i f ied 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 required f r o m both participants and volunteers ( i f volunteers, such 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). T h e Jubi lee H o u s e C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n uses a volunteer and the coordinator m e n t i o n e d that her contr ibut ion ensured the success o f the k i t c h e n because he c o u l d re ly o n her. T h e 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 i d not have rel iable volunteers and this affected the operat ion o f the kitchens negatively because volunteers w o u l d not s h o w up or w o u l d forget to do 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 group o f i n d i v i d u a l s is also necessary. W h e n key informants were asked what was needed to create a successful c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, a core group o f c o m m i t t e d participants was the most c o m m o n answer, because their presence help to create sol idari ty w h i c h ensured the continuance o f the k i tchen. T h i s answer was 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 soc ia l m a k e u p o f the group. It is important to note that i n some cases, a c o m m i t t e d group m i g h t also lead to e x c l u s i o n . O n e o f the survey respondents had 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 had been operating for a f e w months. W h i l e this person enjoyed the c o m m u n i t y k i tchen, she sometimes felt exc luded. consistency: F o r some groups, consistency is an important factor. I n the 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 k i tchen, 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 or 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. In some ways , 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) and it was easier for the w o m e n to remember. T h i s consistency helped to develop stabil i ty 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 part icular k i t c h e n , consistency was very important because it developed trust and established a pattern, w h i c h made it easier for the participants to remember. funding: 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 number 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 tchens such as the P a c i f i c H o t e l and Jubi lee H o u s e are reliant o n funding because their participants are o n soc ia l assistance. Other kitchens w h i c h have p a y i n g members also re ly o n the V a n c o u v e r F o o d B a n k . A number o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens have had to stop c o o k i n g because they were not able to secure funding. 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 and solutions to this constraint. locat ion: L o c a t i o n is an important element for most c o m m u n i t y kitchens. I n S L I C K , one participant ment ioned that the o n l y compla int she had w i t h her c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n , was the c o m m u t e . In Y o u n g M o m s and Y o u n g M o m s T o B e , access to p u b l i c transit was 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 considerat ion had to be g i v e n to the locat ion 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, however , i f a l o c a t i o n is not easi ly 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 icu l t for members to attend. 64 part ic ipat ion: A n important factor i n c o m m u n i t y kitchens is part ic ipat ion. It is important for the coordinator and other members to ensure that everyone is part ic ipat ing equal ly . O n e respondent i n the questionnaires ment ioned that her c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n focused too m u c h o n N o r t h A m e r i c a n or E u r o p e a n food. G i v i n g this participant an opportunity to select a recipe w o u l d solve this d i l e m m a . A s ment ioned by another participant, " P e o p l e need a chore or j o b that they c a n do. Otherwise people are bored. A g o o d c o m m u n i t y k i tchen is one where there is part ic ipat ion and l e a r n i n g . " 5.5.1 T h e R o l e o f Leadership Leadership is an aspect o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens that because o f its importance a n d s igni f icance, warrants some discuss ion o n its o w n . I n any group, a sense o f leadership is necessary i n some f o r m . A s described b y K a t r i n a Shie lds , " i t inevi tably emerges i n groups no matter h o w egalitarian the ideology is . . . I f leadership roles are not a c k n o w l e d g e d overt ly , they inev i tab ly happen covert ly or indirec t ly . " (Shields, 1994). C o m m u n i t y k i tchens require a lot o f coordinat ion and i n v o l v e m a n y tasks and a leader (or leaders) is sometimes needed to ensure that tasks are delegated and completed so that the group can cook. N a t u r a l l y , there are g o o d and bad forms o f leadership. G o o d leadership c o u l d be def ined 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 and to offer some d irec t ion and inf luence i n h e l p i n g the group meet its goals ." (Shields , 1994). In other words , g o o d leadership encourages and motivates whereas bad leadership tends to dominate. 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 kitchens, funding secures the k i t c h e n ' s 65 existence but it is the leadership (by an 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 an example. U n t i l recently, this c o m m u n i t y k i t c h e n was funded w i t h canning supplies f r o m a canning company. W i t h the loss i n supplies , the k i t c h e n has had to d i p into their savings to purchase their canning goods. A situation arose where the group members wanted to make some j a m . I n the past, the group c o u l d re ly o n their savings to purchase the extra ingredients but w i t h the loss i n funding , the k i t c h e n h a d to act m o r e frugal ly . T h e group discovered some leftover blackberries but there was not enough to m a k e a f u l l batch o f j a m . B l a c k b e r r i e s were i n season, and 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 supply. Other members said 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 week, the group was curious to see i f enough berries h a d been p i c k e d because it w o u l d represent the group's commitment . I n the end, enough berries were p i c k e d for each member , and the group not o n l y surv ived the test but i n the process, found a s o l u t i o n to their p r o b l e m . Leadership i n m a n y instances is also about desirabi l i ty and the a b i l i t y o f either one or a f e w people to translate this desire into action. Leaders are ordinary people w h o have a v i s i o n for their organisations and communit ies and are able to inspire others and help t h e m understand the potential o f change. T h e y have a propensity for act ion and an enabl ing capacity that a l l o w s t h e m to delegate, empower , recognise and translate the "g i f t s" o f i n d i v i d u a l s into pos i t ive energy for change (Farquhar, 1994.). I n l i n k i n g leadership to empowerment, it s h o u l d be emphasised that w i t h i n a group, a sense o f leadership must be shared. A p r o b l e m i n some organisations is that leadership 66 predominates, but it has very l itt le f o l l o w i n g . A s ment ioned b y M i l l e r , R e i n a n d L e v i t t (1995), empowerment i n this type o f setting is remote and weak i n a l l forms. A f ine balance exists between those w h o lead and 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 Fr iends o f the U n i t e d N a t i o n s revealed s e l f empowerment and leadership as c o m m o n elements i n the communit ies . " F o r these communit ies a predominate theme was empowerment - the a b i l i t y to participate and take act ion o n decisions w h i c h affect their l ives . E m p o w e r m e n t was not conceded f r o m the outside, but was self-help. E m p o w e r m e n t was characterized as beg inning w i t h k n o w l e d g e through educat ion or consciousness rais ing. It required the sol idari ty o f the group for support, a n d access to resources, i n c l u d i n g money. F i n a n c i a l a i d alone, however , w a s not sufficient for e m p o w e r m e n t . . . . Somet imes the v i s i o n was p r o v i d e d b y a strong leader, sometimes 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, co l lect ive act ion was required . . . 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 . " (Seymoar and Ponce de L e o n , 1997). 5.6 Opportunit ies i n us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens as an empowerment t o o l There are m a n y opportunities i n us ing c o m m u n i t y kitchens as a n empowerment t o o l . D u r i n g the k e y informant interviews, each leader ment ioned that the difference w i t h c o m m u n i t y ki tchens 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 and k i tchen coordinator for the Jubi lee H o u s e H o u s i n g Society , bel ieves that c o m m u n i t y kitchens c o u l d be used to tra in volunteers. H e m e n t i o n e d that granting agencies, w h i l e funding programs, a lways want 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 and the government support programs s i m i l a r to c o m m u n i t y ki tchens, to t ra in i n d i v i d u a l s as volunteers. In his words , "There w i l l a lways be people that are u n e m p l o y e d . W h a t is important is whether or not a program can p r o v i d e a person w i t h s k i l l s that they i n turn c a n contribute to the c o m m u n i t y . People can contribute o n a volunteer bas is . " T h e 67 p o p u l a t i o n that he deals w i t h are not employable but do have the t i m e to volunteer, w h i c h w o u l d benefit both the c o m m u n i t y and the government w h e n socia l cuts are made. G o v e r n m e n t s are expect ing agencies such as the U n i t e d W a y , to p i c k up the slack, but there are fewer people avai lable to volunteer. W h i l e his populat ion might not be considered the " i d e a l " volunteer, they c a n s t i l l contribute and this w o u l d foster both empowerment and c o m m u n i t y development. Opportunit ies were also identi f ied i n the surveys. A number 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 network w o u l d enable kitchens to share recipes, seek j o i n t funding , and discuss c o m m u n i t y development issues 3 . 5.7 C o n c l u s i o n In this chapter, the results f r o m the case studies were presented and analysed. F r o m the research, it was observed that c o m m u n i t y kitchens are effective at e m p o w e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l s and do so i n a number o f ways . C o m m u n i t y kitchens tend to empower their participants b y teaching l i fe s k i l l s and b y enhancing confidence and self-esteem. Participants m e n t i o n e d that they gained m a n y benefits such as learning to communicate , b e c o m i n g self-reliant a n d increasing their s o c i a l networks. H o w e v e r , it was determined f r o m the case studies that c o m m u n i t y k i tchens do not effectively contribute to c o m m u n i t y development. T h e empowerment processes that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens 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 fe . Nevertheless , i n d i v i d u a l empowerment is important to c o m m u n i t y development because the development o f communit ies occurs through the efforts o f i n d i v i d u a l s . T h e creat ion o f a c o m m u n i t y kitchens network was suggested to enhance c o m m u n i t y 3 Community development issues were actually mentioned in the questionnaires. 68 development. L i n k i n g c o m m u n i t y kitchens to each other provides the p r o g r a m w i t h a v o i c e that c a n be strengthened over t ime, a n d used 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 Coordinator plays an important role b y connect ing the c i t y ' s c o m m u n i t y ki tchens, but these l i n k s are weak and they need to be formal ised. T h e next chapter rev iews the major f indings f r o m this 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 ighl ighted and areas for further research w i l l be discussed. 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 These 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 fe s k i l l s (such as c o m m u n i c a t i o n , self-reliance and social isation) and h a v i n g this k n o w l e d g e encouraged confidence and self-esteem. Increased confidence and self-esteem means that participants are better able to make decis ions about their l ives . I n turn, the a b i l i t y to m a k e decis ions contributes to a person's sense o f control i n his/her l i fe . H a v i n g this sense o f contro l contributes to c o m m u n i t y development 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 ives before they are able to m a k e decis ions o n other issues, such as those related to c o m m u n i t y . T h r o u g h the research, it was discovered that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens as they currently operate, do not contribute s igni f icant ly to c o m m u n i t y development. T h i s does not m e a n that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens do not have the potential to be used i n c o m m u n i t y development, but they have a l i m i t e d c o m m u n i t y output. A s mentioned prev ious ly , this is because i n d i v i d u a l empowerment 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 . H o w e v e r , a number o f empowerment theorists have said that for soc io-po l i t i ca l empowerment to occur, " i n d i v i d u a l transformation is theoretical ly and pract ica l ly important ." ( R o c h a , 1997). C o m m u n i t y development has been defined as the betterment o f people through " p u b l i c p o l i c i e s , governmental actions, e c o n o m i c activit ies, inst i tut ion b u i l d i n g and other types o f act ivit ies . . . " (Christenson, F e n d l e y and R o b i n s o n , 1989). C o m m u n i t y ki tchens c a n be used to contribute to c o m m u n i t y development b y deve loping their propensity to effect change through c o m m u n i t y outreach. H o w e v e r , it should 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 tchen. D e p e n d i n g o n the soc ia l m a k e u p o f the group, some c o m m u n i t y kitchens are more 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 and their actions can lead to empowered communit ies . T h e researcher bel ieves that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens have the potential to become empowered organisations to inf luence c o m m u n i t y development, and a network to l i n k kitchens w o u l d facil itate this act iv i ty . I n its current state, a number 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 each other. A sharing o f in format ion needs to occur to prevent granting agencies from b e i n g f looded w i t h requests and the researcher believes that col lect ive act ion w o u l d strengthen funding proposals 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 concern is that a number o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens are m o v i n g away from f i n a n c i a l self-suff ic iency. 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 Coordinator and the A d v i s o r y B o a r d are p l a n n i n g to revis i t the goals and objectives o f c o m m u n i t y kitchens. It is their b e l i e f that c o m m u n i t y ki tchens need to be f inanc ia l ly self-sufficient, to be e m p o w e r e d organisations. M a n y c o m m u n i t y ki tchens are reliant o n funding, and to effectively teach the p r i n c i p l e s o f self-help and suff ic iency, the organisat ion should reflect its o w n lesson. Planners c a n p lay a role i n h e l p i n g these organisations become 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 kitchens where the participants are u n e m p l o y e d or underemployed, members c o u l d use their t ime to cult ivate vegetables for the k i t c h e n and for resale. Planners can facilitate this process b y p r o v i d i n g unused greenspace where c o m m u n i t y gardens can 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 marg ina l i sed areas w i t h i n the c i ty , have locations where people c a n cook. 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 fac i l i ty i n either the r o o m s or the hotels. A b y l a w or regulat ion that requires the construct ion o f some 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 provide the populat ion l i v i n g i n the S R O s w i t h an opportunity to cook. 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. Through the research, it was discovered that the strength of the link depends on the type of empowerment being used. Individual empowerment tends to have a lesser effect on communities whereas community empowerment exerts more. 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I n American Journal of Community Psychology. 1 8 ( 1 ) , 41-54. F r i e d m a n n , J o h n . 1990. Empowerment: The Politics of an Alternative Development. L o s A n g e l e s : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a . G o t t l i e b , Robert and Fisher , A n d r e w . 1996. " F i r s t F e e d the F a c e " : E n v i r o n m e n t a l Justice and C o m m u n i t y F o o d Security. I n Antipode, 28 (2), 193-203. G r a h a m , H i l a r y and Jones, Jane. 1992. C o m m u n i t y development and research. In Community Development Journal. 27 (3), 235-241. Gut ierrez , L o r r a i n e . 1995. Understanding the empowerment process: D o e s consciousness make a difference? I n Social Work Research. 19 (4), 229-237. H a n n i s , D a v i d . 1988. E n h a n c i n g C o m m u n i t y . I n First Reading, Ju ly/August , 2-3. J i b r i n , Janis . 1998. P e r u v i a n K i t c h e n s : A R e c i p e for Success. In Urban Age. 5 (3), 27-28. 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L i t t r e l l , D o n a l d , and H o b b s , D a r y l . 1989. T h e S e l f - H e l p A p p r o a c h . I n C h r i s t e n s o n , A . and R o b i n s o n , J . (eds.), Community Development in Perspective, 4 8 - 6 9 . A m e s : I o w a State U n i v e r s i t y Press. 77 M a y o , M a r j o r i e and C r a i g , G a r y . 1995. C o m m u n i t y Part ic ipat ion and E m p o w e r m e n t : T h e H u m a n Face o f Structural Adjustment or T o o l s for D e m o c r a t i c Transformat ion? I n C r a i g , G . and M a y o , M . (eds.). Community Empowerment. A Reader in Participation and Development, 1-11. L o n d o n : Z e d B o o k s . M i l l e r , S . M . , R e i n , M a r t i n and L e v i t t , Peggy. 1995. C o m m u n i t y A c t i o n i n the U n i t e d States. I n C r a i g , G . and M a y o , M . (eds.). Community Empowerment. A Reader in Participation and Development, 112-126. L o n d o n : Z e d B o o k s . M i t c h e l l - W e a v e r , C l y d e . 1990. C o m m u n i t y D e v e l o p m e n t i n N o r t h A m e r i c a : Survey and Prospect for the 1990s. I n Community Development Journal. 25 (4), 345-355. M u l g r e w , Ian. 1998. T h e Batt le for Hast ings. In The Vancouver Sun, September 19, A 2 0 - 2 1 . N o z i c k , M a r c i a . 1992. No Place Like Home: Building Sustainable Communities. Ot tawa: C a n a d i a n C o u n c i l o n S o c i a l Development . O ' G o r m a n , Frances. 1995. B r a z i l i a n C o m m u n i t y Deve lopment : Changes and Chal lenges . I n C r a i g , G . and M a y o , M . (eds.). Community Empowerment. A Reader in Participation and Development, 206-217. L o n d o n : Z e d B o o k s . R i s t o c k , Janice and P e n n e l l , Joan. 1996. Community Research as Empowerment. Feminist Links, Postmodern Interruptions. Toronto: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y Press. R o b s o n , C o l i n . 1993. Real World Research. O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l . R o c h a , E l i z a b e t h . 1997. A L a d d e r o f E m p o w e r m e n t . Journal of Planning Education and Research. 17:31-44. Sadan, E l i s h e v a and C h u r c h m a n , A r z a . 1997. Process-focused and product-focused c o m m u n i t y p l a n n i n g : T w o variat ions o f empowerment professional practice. I n Community Development Journal. 32 (1), 3-16. Seymoar , N o l a - K a t e and Ponce de L e o n , Juan. (eds.). 1997. Creating Common Unity. Models of Self Empowerment. 50 Award Winning Communities. Ca lgary : W e i g l E d u c a t i o n a l Publ ishers . Shie lds , K a t r i n a . 1994. In the Tiger's Mouth. An Empowerment Guide for Social Action. P h i l a d e l p h i a , P A : N e w Society Publ ishers . v a n Isschot, L u c h o . 1996. A n opening to the w o r l d . I n Americas Update. V o l . x v i i , no . 4. 8-10. 78 Wiewel, Wim and Gills, Doug. 1995. Community Development Organizational Capacity and US Urban Policy: Lessons from the Chicago Experience 1983-93. In Craig, G. and Mayo, M. (eds.). Community Empowerment. A Reader in Participation and Development, 127-139. London: Zed Books. Yin, Robert. 1989. Case Study Research. Design and Methods. Newbury Park: Sage Publications. 79 Appendix I Key Informants Kerry Armstrong Jubilee House Community Kitchens Camie John West End Seniors' Network Community Kitchen Kit ty K u k Frog Hol low 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) Kar in Scheurs Young Moms and Young Moms To Be Community Kitchen Rogan Sinclair The Pacific Hotel Community Kitchen El len 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 K i t c h e n . 2. Y o u r pos i t ion . 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 and 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 your knowledge , do y o u k n o w o f anyone w h o became e m p l o y e d as a result o f his/her part ic ipat ion i n a C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ? 7. W h a t do y o u think is the most important s k i l l the participants i n your C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n have learned? 8. W h a t other sk i l l s have participants gained through their part ic ipat ion 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 for the members i n the C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n to "gel" or become a group? W h a t was the turning point and what factors created or affected this turning point? 10. H o w do 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 do y o u think 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 do y o u t h i n k your 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 some o f the problems or di f f icult ies y o u have experienced i n this C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ? 14. D o y o u think locat ion 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 is 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 think 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 th ink they hope to gain? 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 funding? I f yes, what is the source o f funding? D e s c r i b e your present funding situation. Is it secure? 19. H o w has your funding situation made an impact o n the operation o f y o u r C o m m u n i t y K i t c h e n ? 2 0 . W h i c h o f the f o l l o w i n g processes does your 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 decis ions reached by v o t i n g keeping a l o g b o o k 82 Appendix III Vancouver Community Kitchens 1998 Questionnaire 1. Why did you join this Community Kitchen group? 2. 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 3. Do you feel better about feeding yourself and/or your family since joining this Community Kitchen? no change much better 1 2 3 4 5 In this Community Kitchen, is attention given to encouraging leadership skills among members? no encouragement high degree of encouragement 1 2 3 4 5 How well does the group communicate with each other? communicates poorly communicates well 1 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 lots of respect 1 2 3 4 5 8. Are conflicts handled effectively? conflict handled ineffectively conflict handled effectively 1 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. Please finish the following sentences: a. 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 41-45 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-65 over 65 Thank you for participating in our survey. 85 

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