SD Nonprofit’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program Helps Those Transitioning from Incarceration, Homelessness and Foster Care Develop Job and Life Skills
San Diego CA— Kitchens for Good – a local nonprofit that provides culinary training for individuals transitioning from incarceration, homelessness and foster care – has received a $75,000 grant from The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund to prepare hunger relief meals, made from scratch with rescued produce from local farms and wholesalers.
This grant, which was awarded in large part due to funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), will help the nonprofit scale up its hunger relief efforts to produce approximately 7,000 meals a week. The meals are distributed through the San Diego Food Bank, I Am My Brother’s Keepers (IAMBK), Jewish Family Services, and a Grab-and-Go meal kiosk at Kitchens for Good. Over the next six months, Kitchens for Good expects to produce over 100,000 meals to meet the basic food needs of vulnerable seniors, displaced workers, low-income children and their families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, it has already distributed about 128,000 hunger relief meals.
“With the resurgence of the pandemic, many families in our region are experiencing extended hardships and are struggling to get basic needs met,” said Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, vice president of state governmental affairs and external affairs. “Kitchens for Good is helping to fill critical community needs at multiple levels – for vulnerable residents and for their apprentices who are working to turn their lives around.”
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is created in part with donations from SDG&E, which has contributed $2 million to the fund, with plans to donate another $1 million in 2021. The COVID-19 fund awards grants to local nonprofits supporting low-income workers, families, and vulnerable communities most affected by the coronavirus crisis. To date, the fund has raised $27.2 million and distributed $24.6 million in grants.
“In response to COVID-19, we have pivoted our operations to rapidly scale up the production of hunger relief meals,” said Jennifer Gilmore, CEO of Kitchens for Good. “This grant makes it possible for us to not only feed the hungry, but also to maintain support services for our culinary apprentices.”
The grant will support core operating expenses for the hunger relief program between July and December 2020. In addition, the funding will be used to continue providing case management, instruction, and weekly culinary learning kits (including ingredients, recipes and lesson plans) to Kitchens for Good’s culinary apprentices. The weekly culinary kits allow the apprentices to continue practicing their cooking skills at home, while also providing nourishment for them and their families.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Kitchens for Good has had to temporarily suspend its Culinary Apprenticeship program. The organization is preparing the hunger relief meals with the help of volunteers and some culinary apprentices who recently graduated from the program, as well as six full-time cooks and chefs.
About The San Diego Foundation
The San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve quality of life in our region. For more than 45 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1.2 billion to support nonprofit organizations and strengthen our San Diego community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org, and consider a donation to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, helping nonprofits and San Diegans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
About Kitchens for Good
Kitchens for Good believes that all food has power and that all people have potential. We equip individuals with culinary and hospitality training, as well as the life skills they need to launch meaningful careers so they can move forward in life and make a positive impact on their communities. Not only do apprentices gain valuable training, they contribute to bettering their community by fighting food waste and hunger. Apprentices prepare thousands of healthy meals for hungry San Diegans, using surplus and cosmetically imperfect produce from wholesalers and farmers.
About San Diego Gas & Electric
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.