At the YMCA Family Resource Centre, we run 9 Collective Kitchen programs. Individuals in these programs come together weekly to plan and cook 2-3 low-cost meals for themselves and their families. Our goal is to help make healthy and great tasting food more available to our community members.

On Thursday, October 20, 2016 we welcomed over 100 participants and guests to our 3rd Annual Collective Kitchen Gala. The Gala is an opportunity for participants to invite important people in their lives to experience the YMCA.

Our staff and program participants worked hard and went above and beyond to prepare for the Gala. Before the Gala, each kitchen decided what they would prepare as a dish to share with their peers and guests. Many of our participants depend on the food they cook each week, so we couldn't stop our normal routine to prepare strictly for the Gala. Participants worked together to make a dish for the Gala as well as the regular 2 meals for themselves and their families.

The Gala is a busy time, but staff and participants take pride in being part of this community and sharing their skills with the people most important to them. Every year, YMCA Staff members volunteer to serve the participants and guests as a way of honouring their participation and commitment.

This year, we had a photo slide show of our participants hard at work in the kitchen during the past year. We even had a past participant play the guitar and sing for entertainment.

The food was amazing! Many people commented on how delicious the teriyaki chicken thighs were, how decadent the cherry cheesecake was, and how special it was to be able to share food and stories.

We were especially pleased to welcome some of our funders to the event. They had the opportunity to chat with participants, enjoy the food and see where their dollars are being spent and what a positive impact they're having within the community.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who had a hand in helping and supporting this year's Gala. We look forward to next year's event.