Cooking Class is More Than a Meal

by Linda Leigh
Categories: Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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Deborah suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and struggles with anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Her anxiety is so high that she finds it difficult to leave her house, even to get groceries.

But each week, Deborah makes the trip to attend The Salvation Army’s cooking class in Markham, Ont.

“I come here to get out of my environment for a couple of hours,” says Deborah. “And I feel safe here.”

The Salvation Army in Markham offers low-income families a hands-on, weekly cooking class where participants create delicious meals and learn more about nutrition. After the program started, it didn’t take long before class instructors recognized that people were there for more than just a meal.

“The program makes my life easy for one day,” says Deborah, explaining that she came to the class looking for inspiration, hope and encouragement.

Antoinette has also benefitted from the class. As a single parent with six children, she registered for the program because the food she was cooking at home wasn’t meeting the needs of her family.

“My daughter was always sick,” says Antoinette. “When I learned how to make healthy soup, I could see the difference in how my daughter was feeling.”

While learning how to cook healthy meals, Antoinette was also able to share her story of growing up poor and orphaned in a small community in Africa.

“I’ve cried a lot in my life,” says Antoinette. “Maintaining a sense of peace and happiness is very challenging, but The Salvation Army showed interest in me and gave me the strength to move forward. They are my family here.”