We Won a New IKEA Kitchen!

Thank you everyone for voting for North Light! We WON the 7th Annual ‘IKEA Life Improvement Co-worker Challenge’! This makeover will help us remodel the kitchen that is more functional, inviting and well-designed — a place our community can feel welcome and comfortable.

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North Light’s kitchen is at the heart of all three of our core program areas. Currently, the kitchen (10.5 sq ft) is used for storage for the food cupboard, serving daily breakfast, lunch and snacks to day campers, weekly cooking activity for the KidZone afterschool program, recipe development and nutrition education for teens, preparing holiday meals for program participants, serving and/or warming meals for the families attending Parenting Empowerment Project, prep/warming of small meals for various meetings and rentals for family parties (showers, birthdays, etc.) The kitchen is original to the early 1980’s section of our facility and is completely inadequate for our current needs and workflow. Students from Villanova University host a weekly cooking club for the children we serve; however, menu selections are restricted by the confined space and lack of visual access to heating elements. Our teens participate in regular nutrition classes, but are unable to have more than a few at a time observe and learn.  The food cupboard dominates the space, restricting children’s access to the kitchen during that time due to Department of Public Welfare regulations.  Our health and wellness initiatives for the community have stalled with such a cramped, outdated space.

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Manayunk-based architects Cadre Design developed a conceptual plan that maximized workflow and provided a mobile teaching kitchen for nutrition education. By removing the half wall separating the kitchen and our small gym, which functions as a cafeteria and event space, and creating a mobile cart in its place, we can create a more open space and increase capacity for cooking classes. Not only would this significantly improve existing kitchen uses, it would create an attractive, welcoming space to host community cooking classes for children and adults, further opening up our center to the wider neighborhood and providing additional revenue to support our social services. Appliances are additionally rearranged to better suit a modern kitchen functionality and increase visual and work-space for multiple users. In short, our dream kitchen makes kids want to learn about food. A makeover would make North Light the first culinary education hub in our community.

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