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This article was published 12/3/2015 (1197 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG'S first community food centre is ready to start cooking.
The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, a joint venture between NorWest Co-op Community Health and Community Food Centres Canada, is scheduled to open its 4,000-square-foot space in the Inkster area (61 Tyndall Ave.) Friday.
The centre, the first of its kind in Western Canada, is a unique combination of a community club and a healthy-eating seminar, where people can learn about nutrition, healthy eating habits and get access to healthy foods.
Programming includes options from regular cooking classes involving high-nutritional foods to basic gardening classes that inspire people to start thinking of options beyond Slurpees, frozen pizzas and fast-food burgers.
All told, the centre will present 14 programs.
"We'll also have a mentoring program, to help families stay on the right nutrition path," said NorWest Co-op spokesman Bruce Michalski. "And we hope to get kids involved, as well. We will offer an after-school 'kids smoothie' development program, where kids come in, ride a bike and make fruit smoothies afterwards."
A community garden — 25 fruit trees and berry bushes have already been planted — and an outdoor pizza oven are also included in the centre's plan. The centre will also have health practitioners visit regularly, checking people for nutrition-related conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, a precursor to potential heart disease.
NorWest says 33,000 people live in the Inkster area, with 69 per cent of homes hovering around the low-income line. Given this demographic, and the easy but often-harmful eating choices that often come with it, it's no accident the centre is opening where it is, Michalski said.
"We hope to make a positive change in people's food choices and eating habits," he said.