A new food resource has launched in Turnor Lake and Birch Narrows.

The Community Food Centre, the first in northern Saskatchewan teaches people how to grow, prepare and cook food.

“We are teaching many cultural aspects in our community. We are bringing the culture back by teaching them from land to plate. We hunt, we prepare, and then we cook all in one shot,” said Rebecca Sylvestre.

She explained that the Centre is not a food bank, distributing food hampers to those in need, but rather providing life skills.

“We do take kids to land. They learn how to hunt, they learn how to check a net, some of them spend the night on the land, and listen for the moose. And then they learn everything about hunting and trapping and fishing,” Sylvestre said.

Accessing affordable fresh food can be challenging for remote northern communities.

Sylvestre said the pandemic lockdowns created further food insecurity. So, the program purchased food boxes, serving approximately 13 communities.

In addition to wild game, a community garden is under development, where citizens can learn to grow produce.

Sylvestre explained that virtual cooking lessons are taking place with Elder evenings, parent-child night and baking.

“We are going to have programs that a child’s actually going to do a meal for their parents,” Sylvestre said. “We’re going to even do a competition where they’re going to make plates from the land and they’re going to put the food on top the plates.”

(Photo courtesy of the Turnor Lake and Birch Narrows Community Food Centre Facebook.)