The hum of conversation and aromatic wafts of baked garlic bread fill the hallway as you approach the kitchen area at West Winds in Saskatoon. The Food for Thought program is celebrating its last group session before the Christmas break.
The Food for Thought program is a prenatal support program that assists pregnant women and their children to achieve improved health and wellness by focusing on life skills like cooking low-cost nutritious food. Food is prepared during the weekly meeting and a portion is sent home (along with the recipe) with the participants to be shared with their families. Participant-driven discussion on pregnancy-related topics follow each cooking session.
Theresa and Nikki work on a hot chocolate gift craft at the fall session wrap up meeting.
Malinda shows off her handmade dream catcher.
The program also offers these women an opportunity to relax and make new friends.
“It’s nice to interact and socialize and you learn so much educational stuff for the baby,” said Theresa Sakebow, one of the participants in the fall program. “Stuff all mothers should know about. I’ll take what I learn here and share it.”
“I’ve come with both my pregnancies,” says Nikki McAdam. “And now I am a peer support for others.”
Health Educator Tammy Wilson assists one of the Food for Thought participants with her handmade baby blanket.
“I feel like we a really make a difference here,” says Bonnie Thiessen-Roufosse, Food for Thought program assistant. “We teach the participants everything from proper hygiene, washing your hands and fresh produce before starting, all the way to washing up with hot, soapy water when you are done. These are life skills. We made cinnamon buns this year and everyone was so excited to learn.”
Food is prepared and shared among the participants each week.
Participants in Food for Thought live with issues of poverty, social isolation, illiteracy, mental health issues and/or new immigrant insecurity. The program is funded through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and is sponsored by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
If you live in Saskatoon and feel you or someone you know could benefit from participating in this program, please call 306-655-4835.