The economic struggle many families are facing is forcing them to find ways to cut costs in any way they can, just to make ends meet.

With utility bills and grocery costs at all-time highs, a person’s salary has to stretch further than it ever has before in the past. Smoky River Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and the Smoky River Foodbank (SMFB) staff and board members recognize this and have decided to offer a Community Kitchen course to help people learn to stretch their buck.

“We felt that it would be a good way to introduce those who are struggling to basic cooking and food budgeting,” says FCSS community program coordinator Anita Portsmouth.

“Participants will learn to make healthy meals on a budget.”

The course will be held four times over the upcoming months, with planned dates set for March 23, April 27, and May 25. The first was held Feb. 24.

“It is supported by the Smoky River Food Bank Society, Smoky River FCSS and Smoky River Adult Learning,” says Portsmouth, adding there is no cost for people to attend.

“The program is open to all, but as spots are limited, preference will be given to those in low-income situations,” she adds.

The course will help participants learn to plan meal menus, create food budgets, learn to grocery shop economically, and how to prepare simple meals.

“With the rising cost of living, menu planning and food budgeting can help struggling families with maintaining healthy eating while wasting less and spending less,” says Portsmouth.

“We will be teaching participants how to make the most out of purchasing larger packages and using those packages over several meals to save money. The meals that we will be teaching are simple and easy to recreate or adapt to individual tastes and needs.”

The program will be held at the Georges P. Vanier High School in Donnelly. Portsmouth urges people to consider taking the course to learn a few new meals and various skill sets.

“It is important for people to learn smart budgeting in any economy, but with the rising costs of goods it is becoming more important than ever to spend wisely,” she says.

“People should register if they would like to learn basic cooking skills in order to be able to eat healthy at home. People should also register if they are struggling to find ways to afford to be able to purchase groceries for their families,” she adds.

Portsmouth asks interested participants to register early by phoning (780) 837-2220 as there is limited space available.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News –

Original Published on Feb 28, 2024 at 14:50