What is Food Families?
Food Families is a dynamic program in which a group of neighbourhood families come together on a regular basis to form a network that supports, encourages, and mentors one another using food – purchasing, growing, sharing, learning, and celebrating – as a galvanizing focus.
Why Food Families?
Ensuring individuals and families have access to healthy food and for less money is possible! By offering the Food Families program in your neighbourhood, you can help families master tangible and easy ways to increase their buying power while learning practical and affordable ways to eat well.
How Does Food Families Help?
Eating healthy and stretching budgets to get through each month can feel frustrating, challenging, and like an impossible task for many families. A Food Families program aims to:
- Increase families’ knowledge, skills, and confidence around food and financial literacy;
- Increase families’ buying power;
- Increase families’ connections within their neighbourhood; and
- Decrease families’ time and cost around food purchasing and preparation
Offering a Food Families Program
We are so glad that you have decided to bring the program to individuals and families in your community. The following information below will provide you with access to Facilitator’s Guides, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts for each individual module. Each module will also provide you with a video introduction that provides a high-level overview and outline of that module, along with some additional insight that may be helpful as you prepare to facilitate.
What Do Individuals and Families Learn Through Food Families?
The following modules make up the Food Families program:
- Getting To Know You – Orientation
- Healthy Eating
- Couponing 101
- Price Matching/Meal Planning
- Kitchen Safety – Knife Skills
- Collective Kitchen(s)
- Money Sense
- Food Preservation
- Group Celebration
- Cooking With And For Your Kids
Introduction Document and Checklist
Food Families encourages each group facilitator to read through the Introduction document that provides general information about various elements of the program. Be sure to also print out a copy of the Checklist that will help you stay on track as you prepare for each module.
Before you get to the specific modules, Food Families has included two short introduction videos that outline various elements you need to consider as you prepare to implement the program. We encourage you to watch these videos before you go too much further into the individual modules.
Introduction Part I
Introduction Part II
Included here is access to the Food Families budget. This budget is an overview of the costs each group will need to consider. Expenses could change significantly based on the number of participants in your group, which activities you choose to implement, and what items or resources your group is able to have donated or provided to you through in-kind gifts.
Evaluation is an important part of the Food Families program and something we ask each group to make a priority. Included in the Toolkit is a full Evaluation Guide that outlines the evaluation framework, as well as step-by-step instructions for how to collect, record, and analyze data. You will find individual evaluations for each module in both the appendix of the Evaluation Guide, as well as in the handouts section for each module.
As part of the Food Families process and preparation, we encourage facilitators to provide participants with binders that will be used to collect handouts throughout the program. Food Families has designed a cover page that can be used to slip on the front cover of each binder. There is a specific cover for participants and one for facilitators.
Print the Facilitator Guide Before Watching Curriculum Videos
As you begin to make your way through each module, you may want to first print the Facilitator Guide for that module. With the outline of the curriculum in hand, please watch the corresponding video and take any notes that may be helpful as you move forward.
Enjoy your Food Families experience. We wish your group great success as you work your way through the program.
Module 1: Getting to Know You
Welcome to the “Getting To Know You” module, the first of the Food Families program. This module sets the tone for the program and provides the participants with an overview of the curriculum, a chance to get to know the rest of the group, and an opportunity to set some goals.
Module 2: Healthy Eating
Welcome to the “Healthy Eating” module. This module provides participants with a foundation for healthy eating by outlining seven basic principles while also informing future meal planning considerations.
Module 3: Couponing 101
Welcome to the “Couponing 101” module. This module provides participants with information about coupons, such as why manufacturers use them, where to find them, and how one might save money using them.
Module 4: Price Matching/Meal Planning
Welcome to the “Price Matching/Meal Planning” module. This module introduces participants to the benefits of developing weekly meal plans and the money saving opportunity presented by implementing price matching into one’s regular grocery shopping experience.
Module 5: Kitchen Safety
Welcome to the “Kitchen Safety” module. The objective of this module is to teach participants how to implement the rules of safe food handling for their home kitchen. Individuals and families will learn how to protect themselves with information related to handling, storing, cooking, and reheating food. Participants will also be taught basic knife skills while preparing a new healthy recipe.
Kitchen Safety Part I
Kitchen Safety Part II
Module 6: Collective Kitchen(s)
Welcome to the “Collective Kitchen” module. This module provides the participants with the opportunity to work together to prepare a variety of meals and snacks they will take home to their families. Each one will gain experience reading recipes and using different pieces of kitchen equipment.
Module 7: Money Sense
Welcome to the “Money Sense” module. This module is meant to provide participants with tangible information about managing their money effectively while also finding actionable ways to stretch their budget.
Module 8: Food Preservation
Welcome to the “Food Preservation” module. This module will introduce participants to the value of food preservation while providing specific demonstration to the “Water Bath” and “Freezing” methods.
Module 9: Wrap Up and Group Celebration
Welcome to the “Wrap Up And Group Celebration” module. This module provides the group with the opportunity to celebrate the completion of the Food Families program. A time of review and reflection will allow the group an opportunity to move through an evaluation process.
Elective Module: Cooking With and For Your Kids
Welcome to the “Cooking With And For Your Kids” module. This module is meant to provide parents with the encouragement, confidence, and skills to cook in healthy ways for their children. It will provide parents with age appropriate ways to include children in the food preparation process.
Elective Module: Gardening
Welcome to the “Gardening” module. This module will provide foundational information for participants to be able to begin the process of growing their own food. Participants will learn about different types of gardening and have the opportunity to start their own container garden.