Our 2022 Innovation Fund Recipient is Peterborough Culinary Collaborative: A Recipe for Success

Nourish – YWCA Peterborough Haliburton is the 2022 recipient of $65,685 in funding through the Innovation Fund for their pilot project “Peterborough Culinary  Collaborative:  A  Recipe for Success”


The Innovation Fund supports nonprofit innovators, whether small or large, in designing and delivering new initiatives that align with United Way Peterborough & District’s funding priorities Poverty to Possibility and Building Strong and Healthy Communities.

“After over two years of supporting individuals facing compounding barriers and increasing levels of urgent needs, this year’s Innovation Fund provided the opportunity for agencies to reimagine their roles in supporting the social recovery of our most vulnerable community members. We believe that supporting social service agencies in developing innovative approaches that address pressing social issues is key to an equitable recovery for our entire community.” 

 -Betsy Farrar, Manager of Community Impact

The Peterborough Culinary Collaborative: A Recipe for Success will provide learnings necessary to develop a full-scale training social enterprise for women facing barriers to employment.

The goal is to offer women who are already strong cooks but face barriers to employment the opportunity to enhance their cooking skills and gain employment readiness skills in order to access secure and meaningful jobs in the food industry.

In addition to training these women in culinary skills, training will also include employment skills such as communication, professional workplace expectations, employment rights, and health and safety.

“The old adage says that it takes a village to raise a child, but strong communities of support help all of us to flourish. That’s the premise at the heart of the Peterborough Culinary Collaborative. It brings together a vibrant and committed partnership designed to support women who are on the margins of the labour market with high quality employment training and customized support so that they gain access to sustainable and decent jobs within the local food industry.”

 – Joëlle Favreau, Nourish Manager, YWCA Peterborough Haliburton

This project consists of three components:

  • Culinary training for women facing barriers to employment to develop their cooking skills while learning how to prepare popular restaurant styles
  • Employment training on soft skills for workplace readiness such as communication and professional expectations
  • Mentorship opportunities between local businesswomen and the participants, as well as facilitation of connections with potential employers to gain advice on securing jobs in the

These will be developed and delivered in collaboration with a growing number of local agencies that have expressed interest in the project, including New Canadian Centre, Elizabeth Fry Society, Peterborough Public Health, Employment Planning & Counselling and more.

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