Svitlana Trokhymchuk has been a Peer Leader with the Food for Thought program in Saskatoon for several years. She immigrated to Canada with her eldest son and husband from Ukraine and eventually discovered the Food for Thought program during her third pregnancy.
“I was so excited when I heard about this program,” Trokhymchuk explains. “We are the only ones of our family in Canada. This program allowed me to find ‘family’ here.”
Svitlana Trokhymchuk is a former Food for Thought program participant who is now a peer leader for the program.
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.
“When I came to Canada, I was amazed to see Chinese food,” she says with a smile. “This program is a big opportunity to learn many different styles of cooking. In Canada I see so many cultures all living in one place. It is a chance to learn so much.”
Trokhymchuk became a Peer Leader shortly after the birth of her third child. “The people here made me want to come back. It is so easy for me to be with them…like family. And I am still learning skills every time and practicing my English. It has also made me realize I want to work with people. I love it.”
“Svitlana is so dedicated and we enjoy her participation every session,” says Tammy Wilson, Health Educator for Food for Thought. “She is an example of how much Food for Thought makes a difference to those who attend. Our participants live with issues of poverty, social isolation, illiteracy, mental health issues and/or new immigrant insecurity, and having a safe place to learn life skills like healthy meal preparation, get prenatal advice and just socialize is very special.”
“When I came from Ukraine I didn’t know about a program like this one,” says Trokhymchuk. “People like me really need it. Seeing people when you are an immigrant is so important. The program makes me feel important and I learned so much. Thank you to all these people for their support.”
Members of Food for Thought Team. From left: Olive Kang (Outreach Mental Health and Addictions), Tammy Wilson (Health Educator for Food for Thought), Bonnie Thiessen-Roufosse (Health Lifestyle Assistant for Food for Thought), Svitlana Trokhymchuk (Peer Leader for Food for Thought), Morgan Brooks (Prenatal Outreach Worker for Healthy Mother Healthy Baby).
If you live in Saskatoon and feel you or someone you know could benefit from participating in this program, please call Jacki Veregin at 306-655-4835.