The Buurtkeukens Movement was inspired by the 'Réseau des Cuisines collectives' in Quebec. This movement counts nearly 1,500 groups and has been proving its worth in the fight against food insecurity for over 30 years. After an exploratory trip to Montreal in 2018, the Brussels group returned convinced of its relevance and founded the Buurtkeukens non-profit association at the end of 2019. In Brussels, the movement is still in its infancy, but has the potential for expansion.
A Brussels neighbourhood kitchen is an equipped space that is used on a regular basis by one or more groups of citizens. Each cooking group operates from its own environment and situation and defines its own objectives and organisation, taking into account the needs of its members. This freedom makes it possible to welcome a wide variety of people. Each cooking group is also strongly anchored locally and uses the kitchens of existing neighbourhood organisations. The cooking group relies on the expertise and tools of the Buurtkeukens movement. The movement provides help with regard to group organisation, logistics, discussions regarding allocation, hygiene, etc. The citizen movement also facilitates interaction between the different cooking groups and ensures the exchange of know-how and tips. Finally, the movement also represents the citizens concerned with regard to the authorities. The movement is supported by Brussels Environment.
The Buurtkeukens initiative provides a solution to the profound feeling of loneliness, individualisation and performance-based aspects of our society. Between tight schedules and budgets, lack of skills or inspiration, loneliness, cramped housing, and stress-inducing choices, daily cooking has become a challenge. All these obstacles lead to the consumption of industrial food and the loss of food autonomy. Buurtkeukens’ primary objective is to boost food autonomy and accessibility to quality food for all. The Buurtkeukens movement aims to contribute to developing a positive dynamic around food production at the neighbourhood level. Experience abroad shows that neighbourhood kitchens also have a social impact. By cooking together, and by revaluing the home kitchen as a place for encounters, working together and exchanges, social ties are strengthened, knowledge and legacy develop, and solidarity increases.
solidarity, participation, good citizenship
Cuisines de quartier for Brussels
First and foremost, Buurtkeukens aims to strengthen food autonomy and accessibility to quality food for all. In addition, the Buurtkeukens initiative provides a solution to the profound feeling of loneliness, individualisation and performance-based aspects of our society.
photo: Garcia Lorca Collectivo, 2019