L.A. Kitchen is breaking ground at our new building, but we can’t wait to get started! With construction underway, L.A. Kitchen has called on its first local partner, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels (STVMOW), to begin the work of recovering and processing fresh produce, providing job training and employment for unemployed residents, and supporting partner agencies with nourishing food to strengthen the aging community in Los Angeles.
L.A. Kitchen and STVMOW have developed a pilot program, starting this spring, that will focus on recipe development, culinary job training, meal production, and volunteer engagement. Utilizing STVMOW’s midtown kitchen, L.A. Kitchen will:
- Train two classes of “Chef / Nutrition Advocates.” Utilizing the pioneering new Empower L.A. curriculum, L.A. Kitchen will equip graduates for employment AND the knowledge to help transform their communities. Students will be selected with the help of partner agencies that support older adults returning from prison and youth aging out of the foster care system
- Generate a cohort of graduates who will be the nucleus staff in L.A. Kitchen’s future facility, opening January 2015
- L.A. Kitchen will collaborate with local chefs to test new recipes based onplant-based, nutritious menu items with input from STVMOW staff and clients
- Partner with local farms and produce wholesalers to collect and process healthy food to support the meal programs of STVMOW
- Increase access to healthy menu choices for older adults facing a variety of nutrition-related health issues
STVMOW is the leading provider of nutritious meals to homebound older adults and other vulnerable residents across Los Angeles. In exchange for use of their commercial kitchen, L.A. Kitchen will provide STVMOW with healthy, affordable products for use in the 4,000+ meals they provide each day, saving them an estimated $50K. Together, the organizations will leverage proven strategies for preparing and distributing meals while developing innovative methods to meet the growing demand for locally sourced, plant-based food options.
This pilot program will allow L.A. Kitchen to further hone its training program, receive critical feedback, and engage community members in the process of building the organization. The resources and processes developed throughout the duration of the program will provide a strong foundation for L.A. Kitchen’s full-scale launch in early 2015.