Creative Conversations provides opportunities to cook and learn and grow food together, while forming community connections, for older adults (ages 55+).
Creative Conversations is a drop-in program. The SEED has been running it for the past several months, two days per week, at two different community kitchen locations- Shelldale and Downtown. Each session has had between 4-10 participants- about 6 on average.
The SEED has had various programming specifically for older adults since 2017. Creative Conversations has run twice- the current session, and once before in 2019.
Come for the food, stay for the connections
We meet every week in the kitchen, and we always eat a meal or snack together. So far we have made things like…
- “Make a soup from what you have”
- Sheet pan bibimbap
- Easiest chicken soup
We discuss food access supports available to older adults in the community. There are often opportunities in groups to bring food home to enjoy and share in the community. Shelldale Farm Park donated beautiful winter vegetables from Everdale which were distributed in our Creative Conversations community.
Community members who join these programs are actively involved in planning and providing feedback on program activities. We could not do this work without the help of our community interpreter Yoldoz, who makes the group more accessible to her Afghani community.
Program participants have shared that this program has created a space for them to begin to re-enter society and groups after the COVID-19 pandemic. Creative Conversations provides opportunities to cook and learn and grow food together, however people have shared that the connections and conversations are why they come back to the group weekly.
What’s coming up?
Our funding for Creative Conversations has come to an end. This is a huge challenge for our groups, as seniors have started to rely on this weekly outing to make connections. It has become part of everyone’s routine! However, the relationships and connections made have inspired participants to carry the groups forward using different resources!
One community member has been awarded funds from Setting the Table Fund (from Our Food Future and The Guelph Neighborhood Support Coalition) and hopes to bring community together biweekly to make soup together in a relaxed and open environment.
Additionally, the participants of The Shelldale group are hoping to start a group using the Peer Leadership program at the Guelph CHC.
If you have questions or comments on Creative Conversations, please email or call Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-821-6638 x338