Helping youths leaving care achieve food independence: Our partnership with La Tablée des Chefs continues

May 1, 2024

Fabienne Audette, Managing Director, Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ; Jean-François Archambault, General Director and founder of La Tablée des Chefs; Geneviève Massé, Director of the Educate pillar, La Tablée des Chefs; Geneviève Gagnon, Director of Programs, Impact and Community Relations, Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ

For a second year, the Fondation is proud to contribute $50,000 toward cooking kits and workshops under the organization’s Cook Up Your Future program intended for youths transitioning out of care and into adulthood.

La Tablée des Chefs has been working to fight food insecurity and help youths achieve food independence for over 20 years. Its Cook Up Your Future program, which falls under the second pillar of its mission, is mainly intended for youths leaving care. In all, close to 3,000 kits will be handed out this year to youths in 35 different towns across Quebec, with roughly one third going to Indigenous youths.

Young people living in youth centres or group homes are used to sitting down at the table and being served food or to getting their food at the cafeteria. How can anyone think that, once they live on their own, they will know how to shop for groceries or plan and cook their meals?

Yet, they all need to eat three times a day, and having the tools to feed themselves is key to their achieving independence. The funds provided by the Fondation des jeunes de la DPJ help us check that box on the long list of things that youths leaving care must learn as they transition to adulthood.

Geneviève Massé
Director of La Tablée des Chefs’ Educate pillar

Designed to resemble lunch bags, the kits are handed out to youths who take part in the organization’s culinary workshops. Each kit contains cooking essentials like basic implements and spices, along with the book Trop bon !, created by the organization to help young people learn their way around the kitchen. The kits will come in handy to both case workers, as they teach youths about the different aspects of nutrition, and to the youths themselves, as they begin living on their own.

Navigating the path to adulthood is a challenging experience for all young people, who must adjust to living on their own and learn how to manage a work schedule or adhere to a budget, for example. That said, the climb is even steeper and all the more intimidating for youths leaving care. La Tablée des Chefs is there for those youths, helping them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become self-sufficient.

Youths transitioning to independent living need support, but they also need tools. No one becomes an adult overnight. It takes organizations like La Tablée des Chefs, who are great at what they do, to lay the groundwork for those youths to live their lives and thrive as adults.

Fabienne Audette
Managing Director
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