Exploring cooking, culture, and equity in collective cooking spaces: a case study of roots to harvest
Globensky, Rachel C.
Master of Health Sciences
SubjectCollective cooking spaces
Culture and equity in food-based programming
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores how non-profit organizations can use Collective Cooking Spaces (CCS) to support the populations they serve, integrate culture into their programming, and address equity issues. The research presented here focuses on the opportunities for connection over disconnection by exploring the possibilities of bringing together cooking, culture, and equity in organizational programming. The research involves a qualitative case study of Roots to Harvest (R2H), an organization in Thunder Bay, Ontario, that uses food as a conduit for change within individuals and communities. A social constructivism research framework has been applied to understand the individual and collective learning within CCS. Five program participants and four program facilitators of R2H’s CCS were interviewed, from which thematic analysis of the data was carried out. This analysis shows that R2H has built its foundation on belonging and connection; R2H uses a strength-based approach to building skills and self-esteem in CCS participants. The research shows that culture was well incorporated into the CCS programming, with culturally tailored programs available. Participants were encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences with their CCS groups. R2H is looking at ways to incorporate teaching and actionable items concerning social issues within the CCS. Currently, the organization attempts to mitigate the impacts of social determinants of health and inequities on CCS participants through various methods of making CCS programs more accessible. These findings can prove helpful to R2H and other organizations doing similar food work wishing to include equity programming into their mandates and can contribute to scholarly literature and broader conversations of CCS evolvement.