Skip to content

New teaching kitchen nearly ready to open its doors

The Anti-Hunger Coalition will host cooking classes in the new facility
Installing appliances will be the final step toward opening the new ACT teaching kitchen says executive director Kelsey MacDonnell.

After two years of work, a new teaching kitchen is nearly ready.

The Anti-hunger Coalition Timmins (ACT) acknowledged the importance of a $146,800 Trillium Ontario grant in finishing the new facility, which will open its doors as soon as the new appliances are installed. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant was initially approved in 2022.

“There’s been delays, and we still don’t have our appliances in, but they’ve been ordered and on the way,” said Kelsey MacDonnell, ACT executive director. 

The kitchen will host cooking courses and classes to help people learn to prepare meals.

“It’s going to be everything from a series focusing on a target or demographic to classes for anyone who walks through our doors,” said MacDonnell. “If they say, hey, I’ve always wanted to learn to make pizza, great, let’s do a workshop for that!”

There are plans to make the kitchen camera-ready.

“We want to record all of our classes, so everyone has access, so if you miss the workshop, you can go on the website and find the resource,” she said.

Timmins MPP George Pirie said the work that has been done throughout the Rick Young Centre is a testament to the people who are doing it.

“It starts with a vision,” he said. “The kitchen will breathe life into the facility. It always makes me feel great to find partners that want to get stuff done. You can find anybody that’ll say no. It’s easy to say no, but to find a group of people that want to make things happen, it’s just a real pleasure.”

ACT moved into the newly named Rick Young Centre in 2023.

RELATED: Downtown building's new name honours longtime Timmins volunteer

The building is owned by the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB), and CAO Brian Marks said the transformation of the space is heartwarming.

“I think the board of the Anti-Hunger Coalition and Kelsey saw the potential of what this could become, and here we are! So thank you for doing the heavy lifting,” said Marks. “This kitchen and the ACT are what will breathe life into this building and make it a very special place in the community.”

The OTF awards grants to over 1,000 organizations annually. Representative Steve Kidd said seeing this project come together has been exciting.

“It’s very rewarding when you see something like this come to fruition,” said Kidd. “It was the quality of the project, the need in the community, and we also look at the organization, so yes, it’s worthy, and that’s the best way to put it.”

The kitchen can also help integrate with the ACT fresh food market and the Good Food Box program, including classes on foods that recipients may not be familiar with.

“Our Good Food box often does a featured item, so we can always do a cooking class with that item and tie all that in together,” said MacDonnell. “If someone receives some produce in their box that they don’t know how to use, we can do a workshop if that’s something a lot of people don’t know how to use.”

The classes will include recipes and skill lessons so people can create the same dishes at home.

“If you struggle when you get home, come on back,” said MacDonnell.


Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

About the Author: Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

Amanda Rabski-McColl is a Diversity Reporter under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more