This is a repost of the blog from the fabulous organization that I now work for. We are young and ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work to make our community a better place. I hope you can join us!
We are ELATED to announce that on May 1st at 7pm we’ll be hosting a “Demo-Cation” event at our new home. We chose May Day because we are launching a full-on revolution…dedicated to replacing the traditional “service” model with dynamic, easily replicated solutions built upon equal access to healthy food, economic empowerment, inclusion, social enterprise and community engagement.
Immediately following this event, we will begin demolition, and then the build-out of our 20,000 sq. ft, bi-level kitchen, located just a block from the Lincoln Heights metro. When we open, many of the ideas behind our new model will have already been tested and proven via the pilot programs we are launching this spring with our partner, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.
From their downtown hub, we will test the programs and theories that are at the core of our new model, the ones we’ve been feverishly developing for the last year:
– Reclaim L.A.: a fresh produce recovery program (that will recycle millions of pounds of local foods annually)
– Empower L.A.: an inter-generational, peer mentoring culinary arts/nutrition advocacy training program
– Nourish L.A.: a meal production program (which will emphasize ethnically diverse, healthy meals that will be free to nonprofit partners)
– Strong Food: our revenue-generating/profit sharing business that will hire training program graduates, making the same meals available via contracts
– Engage L.A.: a powerful volunteer program that will engage the entire community
Each of these programs, and the depth of impact they will have, are born of time. Sure…I’m speaking of the 25 years I spent knee deep in sweat and equity at DC Central Kitchen…but I’m really referring to the year our team has been afforded by our founding partners at the AARP Foundation. Their support (the first ever $1M start-up grant ever given by their Foundation) has given us the most precious commodity any team could ask for: the time to be deliberate…to think, listen, and learn a new community; to meet a rich diversity of leaders and locals who shared their ideas as freely as the sun shines in this amazing City of Angels. But perhaps most important thing that this time has provided…is the power to say “NO.”
It takes time to think up ideas, ponder them hard, evaluate them as a team, seek feedback from the community…and have the ability at any juncture to say, “NO, that’s just not bold enough for the times ahead…lets scrap that and start again”…well, that’s the kind of intellectual freedom few are afforded in the nonprofit world, and it’s part of the reason we are so dedicated to showing how key time can be when developing programs that can meet current need AND decrease future demand simultaneously.
So come by on the 1st and see the future of L.A. [Kitchen] first-hand. Offer YOUR ideas (literally, on the walls of our raw space) on how we can partner together to rock routine, bash boring, and elevate our great city.
Meet our partners, and hear about Angel City Food Works – a culinary food business accelerator, which will occupy the rest of our 60,000 sq. ft building. Or just come to be part of history…because from here on out, L.A. Kitchen is gonna get down like James Brown…and you won’t want to miss this show.