The Nakusp and Area Youth Network offers youth the chance to learn skills in the kitchen and how to make healthy food choices through the Sup Club.
Sup Club is a weekly dinner program the Nakusp and Area Youth Network facilitates for youth in Nakusp. Every Thursday, youth and volunteers meet at the grocery store to pick out what they want to make for dinner. The Old Firehall Collective kitchen is where the youth cook, and the volunteers supervise.
Supper Club came about last summer and has been going strong ever since as the second most popular program they host with six to 10 youth participating every week. The fact that youth get to play around in the kitchen and take responsibility for making their own meal is what makes it special. Volunteers Robin Hildebrand and Rachel Adair think it’s important for youth to learn the necessary skills.
“I feel like it’s a given that forever and ever we’re going to need to be able to feed ourselves and it helps if we start young,” said Adair.
Teens are hungry, and they want to learn how to cook, she said.
“They come out, they show up and they’re a really great bunch,” said Adair.
Supper Club is a free program for youth ages 12 to 18 from Nakusp and area.
“It’s important to have anywhere [not just Nakusp]. The skills of grocery shopping, to cooking, to eating as a group is really important,” said Hildebrand. “So to develop those skills at a young age, I think is important for the youth as individuals.”
The skills youth learn in the kitchen at the so-called Sup Club contribute to their family as well and how they themselves make healthy food choices, said Hildebrand.
Dustin, 13, told the News that it’s great to see youth of any age involved in their own cooking, adding he was impressed with what some of the 12-year-olds can do.
The youth get a part in each element of buying, prepping and cooking the food they choose. Foods typically range from spaghetti and meat balls, to tacos, to pizza, and even homemade hamburgers.
Food safety with meat and cross contamination is discussed in the group every week and knife safety is always exemplified before prep. In the future, an official food safety course will be offered for the youth for free.
The youth that have come on a regular basis love being in the kitchen and have a passion to do something with it in the future. They take the skills they learn home with them to use in their own kitchens.
Although the meals may seem simple to adults, the youth take pride in knowing they had the responsibility to pick the food, make it and sit down as a group to eat.