In 2017, through dinners, workshops, and harvest trips, Nourish and its partners nurtured opportunities for growing connections through food. Our belonging work is firmly rooted in the belief that food has the power to transform our everyday lives and bring communities together. As one workshop participant put it, “creating a shared culture is possible through food.” We all need to eat, and when we eat together, we’re healthier and happier. At a time where loneliness is a growing public health challenge, food may become the ultimate health-enhancing ingredient for boosting our social immunity.
When hosting community dinners, a common question we're asked is, “can I get a copy of your recipe?” It makes sense. When we taste delicious meals, we want to find ways to make it at home to feed ourselves, our families, and our friends. In light of this common theme, we have decided to build upon our belonging work and create a Belonging Cookbook. At its heart is the idea of spreading belonging through food within our neighbourhoods and our entire region.
To create this cookbook, we need your help! What do you love to cook or eat? We are looking to gather recipes that have provided a sense of belonging in your life. What do we mean by this? When thinking about your favourite dishes to cook or eat, which ones seem to naturally draw people together? All recipes are welcome. Whether it’s a quick snack to share, family lunch-time favourite, or weekend feast, we want to hear your recipes and stories of belonging.
Once you have a recipe to share, all you need to do is send us a message or fill out this form. Our volunteers will collect your recipe and write a brief story about how it relates to the theme of belonging. Pictures can help tell your story too – a picture of the dish, your family, friends, or the main ingredient in your recipe – it’s completely up to you.
We are collecting belonging stories and recipes from individuals and families, community groups, chefs, community gardeners, collective kitchen cooks, or any individual or group interested in feeding our collective sense of belonging.
Next month, on March 28th, we will be hosting a free dinner at St James United Church, using some of the recipes we have collected so far and sparking more conversations about belonging. We plan on publishing our summer Belonging Cookbook recipes online in June and begin the process of showcasing just how significant food is within our families, friendships, and communities.