Thanks to United Way, LUSH Valley Food Action Society in Courtenay is able to run an after-school Young Cooks program for youth aged 6-14 who come from low-income or otherwise marginalized families. Because of your donations to United Way, this program is having a big impact in kids’ lives, spurring self-reliance, leadership, friendship and a sense of community among students. Your donations are vital in making real change for some of the island’s most vulnerable youth.
When Kevin first joined the Young Cooks program he was a little withdrawn. But as the class progressed he slowly came out of his shell. He seemed to really hang on to every word his facilitator said and was determined to work hard and learn new skills.
When it came time to eat together, sometimes Kevin looked a little lost. By the end of the session, though, something shifted. He was more confident and joined in on the conversation at the table and smiled more easily.
It was at the last session that he told his Young Cooks facilitator that his mother was very ill. She was going through rounds of chemotherapy and couldn’t cook for herself or her family. Kevin, the eldest child, was taking on that role at home. He had joined the Young Cooks group because he wanted to learn how to better cook for his family and support his mom.
Kevin’s dedication was impressive. He joined a second Young Cooks program and continued to work with the food facilitator. The facilitators heard back from Kevin’s family that the healthy meals he was cooking were a major factor in his mom’s recovery. His act of love through food had made a tremendous difference.