Our kitchen team works hard to make sure our youth have access to nutritious meals in our programs. Over the past year, they provided over 70,000 meals! This is not only important for physical health for our youth, but also helps to create trust and build relationships with them, creating an environment where they feel safe to embark on their journey towards healing.
Like all of our teams, the kitchen team has had to adjust the way they work these past 18 months. We talked to Ryan Little and Reddy Manikyala about how their team has worked together to continue to do their important work.
What does it mean to nourish youth at YESS?
For us as a kitchen team, to nourish youth means we are potentially giving them a hot meal they would otherwise not necessarily have received. We want to be able to broaden their culinary tastes through a range of foods from various cultural backgrounds within the confines of what has been donated and what we have purchased.
What nourishes you, as a team?
The kitchen team gets our nourishment from knowing that our hard work creating meals is filling the bellies of our youth. The rewards of knowing the youth have tried something new and are happier without an empty stomach nourishes our hearts and minds.
What tips or ideas can you provide for community members who want to nourish their families, or organizations like ours?
We would encourage our community members to try and expand their culinary minds! Try that new restaurant down the street. Eat that meal you have never eaten. Make the recipe you have never made before. Don’t be afraid to play around with flavours. Share your new experiences with others. Take the time to volunteer or donate to organizations like ours. There is no harm in trying something new.
What is something you wish the community knew about youth who access YESS?
Our youth are very culinarily adventurous, and they have suggested meals that we have never had the chance to make before, expanding our own culinary minds. As we want to show them our favourites, they as well challenge us to try new styles of cooking and experiment with different flavours.