A brief conversation between CAFS staff about what you could cook when you were a young adult resulted in a concept about what our young people are learning that helps prepare them for adulthood. Were they having the same opportunities to learn basic skills as we did, such as learning how to cook meals? Mixing Bowl -a cooking program for teens is a cooking participation program for teens, targeted for vulnerable young people in our community. These young people are between 12-18 years old who may be disengaged from a schooling environment; being fulltime or part-time.
Mixing Bowl is a program promoting engagement, skill building and accomplishment. The overall goal is to offer youth an opportunity to learn basic cooking skills that they can prepare by memory, on their own at a low cost. These teens will have created up to 15 basic dishes.
The program is co-facilitated by a volunteer retired food technology teacher, a CAFS staff member and two community volunteers. This year, the program was fortunate to receive support from United Way Ballarat with funding secured through Ballarat Foundation Fund. Federation University also supported the program by offering a commercial kitchen space at the University (SMB Campus). The 10 week program commenced on the 21st of April every Friday until the 23rd of June; on this day, teens prepared their own dishes for presentation. “We have enjoyed preparing dishes such as Spaghetti, Enchiladas, Scones, Biscuits, Sheppard’s Pie, Soup, Calzone and Fried Rice. The program is simple; cook together, eat together and clean up together. It has been incredible watching the teens improve their skills each week,” said Toni Schiltz Co Facilitator “The simple delight of preparing food and sharing this knowledge with people who appreciate learning these techniques delights me every week, l love it, I love the achievement by our young people,” added Glenda Maes Co Facilitator. CAFS CEO Allan Joy said it was fantastic to see the young people learning life skills that they would take with them forever. Director of Operations FedUni TAFE, Sam Gumnia, explained that Ms Schiltz had approached FedUni with an opportunity to support the students.
“We thought it was a great opportunity for us to give back to the community and hopefully we will see some of these students blossom into apprenticeships,” Mr Gumnia said.
“It’s a really good program and we are happy to continue to support it.”