‘We realized there are a lot of great things we can do together’
Natalie Hamilton

A partnership between posAbilities and Quest Food Exchange is proving fruitful by helping people in need access fresh, healthy food and learn how to cook nutritious meals.

PosAbilities recently donated a fully-equipped kitchen to Quest, British Columbia’s largest not-for-profit food exchange program.

Quest’s objective is to reduce hunger with dignity by providing access to affordable and healthy food choices for those facing barriers.

Quest operates three not-for-profit grocery markets where clients can shop by referral.

With posAbilities’ donation Quest can now provide regular cooking classes in the community training kitchen to both its clients and the people posAbilities supports too, says Quest marketing manager Raj Patara.

“We’ve got this great facility now,” Raj says. “PosAbilities has definitely helped us reach out to other social service agencies and help more people cook healthy and nutritious food.”

Quest and posAbilities have been working together for some time and posAbilities learned Quest was fundraising for a kitchen.

PosAbilities’ kitchen was not frequently used and we realized there were “a lot of great things we could do together,” Raj explains.

For instance, Raj hopes with the new kitchen now in place, Quest will be able to host regular cooking classes for people who access supports and services from posAbilities.

“We want them to be able to utilize it to the utmost.”

She says Quest is currently running about two cooking classes a month to get started and the kitchen is being well-received by participants.

“Everyone who has used it so far is just amazed.”

The kitchen features every convenience of a home kitchen and chefs from Whole Foods volunteer their time to run the classes, Raj adds.

The instructors provide tours of the markets and explain the benefits of different fruits, vegetables and grains and teach people how to prepare them in healthy ways.

The crux of Quest’s work is helping people understand they don’t need “to be wealthy to be healthy” and giving them the knowledge to make and sustain nutritious choices for a better quality of life.

To learn more about Quest Food Exchange, click here.

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