Four years ago, Robert Egger set out to start an organization with the simple, but important, guiding mission that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. That vision led to LA Kitchen, an organization dedicated to tackling the hunger in Los Angeles and providing job training opportunities for vulnerable residents.
Located in Historic Lincoln Heights, the organization takes cosmetically imperfect fruits and veggies that are donated by farms, wholesale businesses and local gardens to fuel a 15-week culinary arts program for young men and women aging out of the foster care system, and older adults returning from incarceration. Working alongside volunteers, these individuals produce thousands of healthy meals for the community.
“LA Kitchen reveals the power of people working together to solve a problem.”
– Robert Egger, Founder & CEO, LA Kitchen
LA Kitchen Founder & CEO Robert Egger addresses the room of volunteers
“We explore the power of community. In our kitchen all people have a role to play, a skill to offer, and a shared desire to make a difference,” shared Robert. “That’s what LA Kitchen reveals… the power of people working together to solve a problem.”
As a new social impact experience on Airbnb, LA Kitchen is hoping to share their work with more people and visitors in LA All proceeds raised from Airbnb will go to support LA Kitchen’s volunteer and food recovery programs. Egger hopes people will leave the experience feeling uplifted, excited, empowered, educated and nourished. “In our kitchen, all food has power, and all people have potential…we reveal both. We hope they’ll also leave questioning the way we use food, and why more programs don’t dig into all the ways it can be utilized to create opportunity,” Robert said.
“In our kitchen, all food has power, and all people have potential… we reveal both.”
In addition to learning about hunger and the struggles faced by some of the individuals the organization is looking to help, Egger hopes participants of their social impact experience will have a chance to explore the diverse Lincoln Heights neighborhood. “From the food served here, to the communities of faith that worship here, to the glorious expressions of art, dance and music that bind so many of us together– to me it feels like the very center of America, and what makes our country so rich,” Robert says of his LA neighborhood.
In addition to welcoming LA Kitchen’s social impact experience to our platform, Airbnb is proud to support their upcoming Shared Plates fundraising campaign where Angelenos will host dinner parties in their homes to raise money for the organization’s food recovery and job training programs. South LA Airbnb host Peggy Sturdivant plans to welcome friends and family for a dinner in support of the Shared Plates campaign this weekend.
“I would like to pass my blessings on to others who are less fortunate.”
– Peggy, Airbnb host, South LA
“It is important to me to help my fellow people. Now that I am hosting, I have a little relief and I can support myself financially. I would like to pass my blessings on to others who are less fortunate,” shared Peggy.
She will join hundreds of other Angelenos who will share meals in an effort to raise awareness about hunger in Los Angeles.
As Robert explains, “The [Shared Plates] campaign takes the simple joy of having friends over to dinner and adds a glorious pinch of purpose. It’s food democracy at it’s best and it highlights what we think is the secret to our program— the power of community. when we work side by side.”
How can you become involved with LA Kitchen? Sign up for their social impact experience on Airbnb.
Photo credit: Joseph Nakhost. Photos provided courtesy of LA Kitchen.