By Steve Whitmore
The Keene Sentinel, N.H.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Cornucopia Project, founded in 2006 to combat childhood obesity, has identified a 5,000-square-foot space that could be used for a commercial kitchen. The kitchen would allow small food businesses to prepare healthy food in a commercial kitchen and then market their food to the community.
It’s called S.K.I.T.T.L.
No, it’s not the candy or the European lawn game, both known as Skittles. This S.K.I.T.T.L. is Shared Kitchen Incubator Teaching Technology Lab, and it’s a concept hatched by the Cornucopia Project.
In the early development stages, the concept involves a commercial kitchen used by local entrepreneurs to prepare and develop healthy meals and other food products, according to Karen Hatcher, executive director of the Cornucopia Project. The kitchen would also be a teaching laboratory for high school students, she said.
Local farmers are supportive of creating such a space where they could process farm-related products that would help extend their growing season, she said.
“This is a way to support our local farms and that’s important,” she said.
The Cornucopia Project recently held a meeting to gauge community support for such a venture, Hatcher said.
About 45 people attended representing a cross section from local food businesses, community leaders, educators from ConVal Regional School District and Franklin Pierce University as well as nonprofit organizers such as The Community Kitchen, which is based in Keene.
“We had 10 local farmers, which was interesting,” Hatcher said Sunday. “They wanted to see if we could extend their season by taking excess produce for sauces, soups and fast freeze. These could be sold to institutions like hospitals. The meeting was successful.”
Hatcher said the concept is still in the early stages.
“It’s something we are exploring, but so far there seems to be strong support from the community,” she said.