Congratulations to YESS Chef Tiffany Sorensen, winner of the Janet Hughes Award from Edmonton’s Food Bank!

In May, YESS Chef Tiffany Sorensen was awarded the Janet Hughes Award from Edmonton’s Food Bank, which honours an individual’s commitment to direct food relief and solving the underlying causes of hunger. Tiffany has worked in our kitchens and programs for almost eight years, not only providing nutritional food for youth but also teaching cooking as an important life skill.

Tiffany was nominated for this award by YESS Chief Program Officer Jessica Day, and President and CEO Margo Long. This award from Edmonton’s Food Bank is named after Janet Hughes, the first chairperson when Edmonton’s Food Bank was formed in 1981.



As the Program Kitchen Coordinator for Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), Tiffany Sorensen considers food, meals, and nutrition as more than mere necessities. Instead, she sees them as powerful tools that can aid young people in healing from trauma, developing resiliency, and acquiring new skills that can benefit them for life.

YESS youth come from a variety of backgrounds and regardless of their unique experiences, they are all experiencing trauma. Tiffany weaves this understanding into her work and prioritizes providing a safe and supportive space with interactions rooted in compassion and kindness.

Tiffany works with youth to educate them about food safety, nutrition, and fundamental kitchen skills, preparing them for their eventual transition to independence. She encourages young people to voice their opinions and preferences regarding food, allowing them to participate in creating the weekly menus or requesting homemade meals for their birthdays. By doing so, she fosters healthy relationships and addresses the underlying trauma associated with food and food security.

Tiffany has been deeply influential in supporting and collaborating with food bank locations within Edmonton. As our liaison, she fosters relationships with both locations and expertly manages expectations, communication, access, and resource supports. Her careful attention and nurturing demeanor make a meaningful difference in the lives of our youth, who feel empowered to ask for assistance thanks to her work reducing the stigma surrounding support-seeking. Even throughout the pandemic, Tiffany’s dedication and advocacy for our partners have remained unwavering.

In addition to her partnership-building skills, Tiffany has also leveraged her talents to produce short videos that demonstrate creative ways to use food bank items in both simple and complex meals. Her innovative approach to food inspires both our youth and staff, and she infuses each interaction with compassion and kindness, recognizing the unique trauma that our youth have experienced.



Did you know…

You can cook along with YESS Chef Tiffany too! Check out our playlist of Tiffany’s cooking videos for all sorts of meals, snacks, beverages, and treats!