Our Food Programs
Food and nourishment are central to VCLA.
Everyone who comes in to 118 Oakdene will have a sense of how we connect food accessibility and food security to thriving as a lifelong learner and a contributing member of the community.
What is the best way to nourish and nurture a learner? Make sure they have enough food for themselves and their family before you start to teach them.
What is the best way to draw together a diverse group, to learn about different families and different cultures? Through sharing food!
VCLA Community Hub helps to address issues of food insecurity in our community through:
Get your hands into the dirt, and get lots of mentoring from others, as you work a plot in the community garden.
Valley Community Suppers
VCLA Community Hub, 118 Oakdene Ave., Kentville
This weekly community supper is a place where people gather to share food, fun and friendship. The intention is to nourish individuals and help our community to flourish.
Valley Community Suppers’ is our response to the growing crisis of isolation, food insecurity, fragmented relationships and the struggle for self-care that so many of us face. The purpose is to create a safe space that welcomes all – all walks of life, all economic circumstances, all ages and backgrounds – to share food, make connections and relax for one evening a week.
This weekly community supper is a place where people gather to share food, fun and friendship. A place central to the community where seniors, single parents, overstretched families and struggling youth come together to enjoy a prepared meal made with love and good local ingredients. A place where all are welcome, where conversation and connection is fostered, where children are celebrated, seniors venerated and adults validated. A place for unwinding from the challenges of the day, a place to make new friends, eat good food and enjoy conversation and relaxing activity.
Food is sourced locally as much as possible, redirecting food waste and food loss, connecting people to our seasonal foods and the people who grow it. Gratitude and mindfulness are the core elements of our time through words, art and action.
People sit together at tables just like around the family dining table intermingling with people who may not be in their circles. Child care and activity are typically offered so children can wander off and parents can enjoy a peaceful meal.
Space is made available for games and activities post-meal. Cards and board games are on hand, as well as art supplies and other activities. Periodically someone will be on hand to lead a craft or share a skill or facilitate a discussion. In the warmer season we head outside, learn about gardening and other nature-based activities on the beautiful VCLA grounds.
Lunch for Learning
Lunch for Learning offers free daily lunches and frozen dinners for VCLA learners prepared from ingredients sourced locally and from our own garden. Kitchen staff and students cook together, increasing food literacy for the workplace and at home. Lunch for Learning provides an opportunity for our staff and students to share a meal together, promoting a sense of belonging and community.
Community Farm Stand
Starting in June to November
Mondays and Thursdays 10.30am-3.30pm
VCLA Community Hub. 118 Oakdene Ave. Kentville
Our organic produce from the garden and any extra from our gleaning and food redirecting initiatives will be available for the public.
For home gardeners: If you have too much produce and you would like to share, please feel free to drop it off at the Community Hub Monday-Friday 9-4.30pm.