Skip to main content

Proposed new kitchen for Moncton's Boys and Girls Club hopes to provide more than just healthy meals


With a nutritious dinner on the menu every week at 5 p.m. and over 1,000 children a year sitting down at the table, the Boys and Girls Club of Moncton in Moncton, N.B., is looking to expand its kitchen.

“We have been serving food for almost six decades now,” said Moncef Lakouas, the executive director of the club.

“The number of kids we’re serving today is way more than we’ve ever seen before because of many reasons… The population increased from immigration in Moncton, COVID stress, cost of living, so we want to increase the space so we can serve more kids.”

The new kitchen campaign comes with a $300,000 price tag and the promise to provide way more than just healthy meals to hungry minds.

“The chef is going to have his own station and the mini chefs, which is the kids' stations, eventually are going to be around so they can be able to follow the instructor and be able to have the means and infrastructure to cook their own meals,” said Lakouas.

"Everything is done with the kids in mind so they can be able to have, to love, to get inside the kitchen and be able to get themselves involved in the process.”

Lakouas says it will help build the next generation of leaders and even future chefs. 

Currently, the club can only offer cooking classes three to four times a year to about a dozen youth at a time, according to Director of Program Services Ashton Beardsworth.

“By opening our kitchen up, we’re going to be able to offer cooking classes more often and to more children and youth at a time, so it really will probably at least triple the capacity of our programming,” she said.

The plan is to also include intergenerational classes and the opportunity to really learn those every day life skills that members can carry with them.

“They’re not just coming in and cooking a meal and going home,” she said. “They’re learning the skills, they’re learning how to shop on a budget, they’re learning the difference between healthy and not so healthy food and how to make those choices.”

The goal was to raise the money in 18 months, but since launching the campaign about two months ago, Lakouas says over 50 per cent of the funds have already been donated.

“Monctonians are extremely generous and we’ve seen that whenever there is a need, Monctonians step up to help get it done,” he said, referencing to just last year when the community helped raise enough money for a new bus.

With funds already rolling in, Lakouas is optimistic that the renovation could be done in time for summer camp.

“We cannot learn, or we cannot get kids educated properly if their bellies are not full,” he said.

"We’ll probably welcome over 600 kids, right here in this location, and we’ll be serving over 200 to 250 meals a day. We’ll also be bringing them into the kitchen so they can learn more about how to cook a meal and also develop partnerships with schools and organizations in terms of garden projects so they can understand everything about food from earth to plate.”

Right now, the Boys and Girls Club of Moncton provides a variety of programming for local children and youth six days a week. The hope is with a new kitchen, they’ll be able to expand even further. Top Stories

Stay Connected