Community Kitchen Helping Families
Our Kids Count (OKC) is a non-profit community development organization, which empowers individuals to build stronger families and inclusive communities by enhancing people’s lives through personal growth and development. OKC provides community-based programs built on the needs identified by the families we serve. The programs offered include United Way supported parenting groups and community kitchen nutrition programs, as well as many others. “Our group learns and grows from each other. We are like a family. We accept each other and care for each other’s children as if they were our own” says one Young Parents Program participant. The programs that are offered develop self-esteem, peer leadership and peer support while remaining flexible, economical and accessible. “To me OKC staff are like an extended family. I can be myself and talk about anything with anyone” says Chrissy, an OKC program participant and volunteer.
Our Kids Count has 2 locations; one at 704 McKenzie Avenue, and the other at 1315 Crawford Avenue. To increase our focus on nutrition and food security, our Community Kitchen programs are now offered to all demographics, including: older adults, children, youth and teens, individuals with special needs, and men. Our kitchens offer a space where families and community come together to cook inexpensive meals to take home, share ideas and knowledge around food, and develop new friendships. It is a multi-purpose space where people in the community can learn valuable skills and celebrate food, culture and traditions. The kitchen is designed to help families prepare nutritious, affordable and healthy meals and can provide permanent, regular access, to a clean, secure, fully furnished kitchen facility, six days per week. “Each Tuesday afternoon I am able to cook a week's quantity of nutritious meals that fit within the parameters of my health-restricted diet. Without the kind, generous and always politely helpful assistance of this organization and its staff, I cannot perceive that I would otherwise have been able to faithfully observe my diet. I am most appreciative of and grateful for their help” says Stephen, who accesses OKC’s Community Kitchen.
Trained volunteer leaders support participants in a friendly, ‘home-like’ facility with access to small appliances such as blenders, mixers, slow-cookers and bread-machines. Our Kids Count has been in operation since 1995 and received charitable designation in April of 1998. We also partner with many other community agencies and organizations to offer diverse programming to our community. All programs are free of charge and we offer nutritious snacks and qualified childcare to participants in programs, everyone is welcome.
Our Kids Count main office is located at 704 McKenzie Street and can be reached at 623-1530