$750K grant supports Kingston's Loving Spoonful cooking program

KING Spoon

Loving Spoonful recently celebrated the $750,000 Grow grant they received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support their "Cooking Connections - Overcoming Stigma" program. The grant supported staffing and other costs associated with the program.

"Social connections with other people are so important for well-being and the Cooking Connections program utilizes the sense of community created by sharing good food to help participants build confidence and learn anti-stigma strategies," said Ted Hsu, MPP for Kingston and Islands. "The program's admirable commitment to the continued well-being of its participants through its partnership with Providence Care will help participants adjust and utilize what they have learned from the program in their everyday lives."

Organizers explain that Loving Spoonful has continued to deliver Cooking Connections - Overcoming Stigma programs in Kingston, Napanee and Perth. The eight-week workshop series aims to bring people living with mental health and/or substance use disorders out of isolation by combining cooking and eating together with the overcoming stigma workshops. With this OTF grant, Cooking Connections hopes to continue to impact numerous individuals living in the local community until the end of March 2025. 

"Food is a vehicle for bringing people together," says Tibrata Gillies. "There is a special kind of magic that happens when people cook and eat together.  Through the process of preparing meals, food acts as a bridge that enhances relationships and creates strong bonds." 

For more information about signing up for Cooking Connections, please contact Cherilyn Burnell, Community Kitchens Coordinator at cherilyn@lovingspoonful.org. 

With files by CFRA's Connor Ray