Share Kitchens

A community engagement concept that empowers older adults by transforming their domestic kitchens into spaces of intergenerational exchange through the communal preparation of food. 

The idea is to establish partnerships with elderly homeowners experiencing physical limitations and renovate a portion of their residence into an accessible community kitchen. We could then empower Kitchen Leaders, senior citizens from the neighborhood who are seeking meaningful employment and social interaction, to share their wealth of culinary experience through bi-weekly, intergenerational cooking classes and community meals. Share Kitchens fills a critical need within the Massachusetts market for socially nourishing experiences of food.
Our vision is to create a network of Share Kitchens across the state that ensure food stability and provide employment to seniors. Food is more than a sustenance; we use it to celebrate milestones, strengthen family bonds and forge new friendships, but when we don’t have people to share in these simple, daily occurrences, loneliness can creep in. Through the communal cooking, we seek to overcome social isolation and reconnect older adults with their communities. Share Kitchens creates inclusive environments that encourage people to share knowledge, share stories, and share meals across generations.

Renovated Triple Deck Plan
1. Accessible Bathrooom
2. Collective Work Surface
3. Demolished Walls
4. Community Table
5. Accessible Entrance

Share Kitchens was awarded by the In Good Company Challenge in 2018 as an innovative approach to reducing social isolation and loneliness in older adults living in Massachusetts.
The challenge was organized by the MIT AgeLab, General Electric, Benchmark Senior Living, and the Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts.

We collaborated with 2Life Communities, a provider of affordable seniors housing in Boston, to pilot a Share Kitchen event at their Brighton Campus.