As Spring gives way to Summer, I’m excited about some of the strong partnerships that the L.A. Kitchen team has been developing. At the very top of the list is St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.
St. Vincent has been on the front line for decades, and together we will be working side by side to usher in a new era of inclusion, empowerment, and strong food for our older neighbors. This is a critical partnership, because in the next twenty years the number of older adults (65+) in Los Angeles County is expected to double. And they won’t just be older, they will have numerous health issues connected to diet unless we act today. According to a 2010 study by the Roybal Institute of Aging at USC, 25% of LA’s older adults currently have diabetes, 22% are classified as obese, and 18% live with cardiovascular disease. That will only increase exponentially unless we swing into action immediately, which is why we excited to partner with the AARP Foundation, St. Vincent and other great nonprofit partners to increase the amount of healthy meals (and combat these chronic conditions) with one of California’s most abundant resources: fresh fruits and vegetables.
As we narrow our hunt for our new home, we are also thrilled to partner with Civic Enterprise Associates (CEA) to create a shared “food innovation hub”. They are opening a kitchen incubator to provide aspiring Angeleno entrepreneurs with a USDA certified commercial kitchen space to take their food products to scale. Together, we are looking to purchase a 60,000 sq ft warehouse which we will renovate and share…and we are narrowing the search as I type.
The synergy between our programs is off the hook (jobs for training program graduates, a micro-credit program to help grads launch their own businesses), and we are all brimming with enthusiasm about the empowering energy this partnership will unleash upon LA. Stay tuned…once we ink a deal, we will be off and running, and we’ll want you to be part of the effort. Everybody will have a roll at the L.A. Kitchen. NO WASTE!!-Robert Egger, President