The Power of Food Revealed: Robert Egger’s Visit to the Ranch

The Jewish Food Justice Fellowship hosted a discussion with Robert Egger, Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen and D.C. Central Kitchen, on June 24 in Barn 2 at the Ranch.  Egger motivated the attendees to consider the roots of our current food system, reframe our understanding of the issues we face, and think creatively about ways to address hunger while creating jobs and building the local economy.  More than 90 nonprofit leaders, food system advocates, local residents and business owners were inspired to consider how Egger’s social enterprise models for kitchen incubation, food recycling, and culinary job training could be applied in the San Diego region.
Egger shared his plans for L.A. Kitchen and how it will not only open but “widen” doorways to employment for hard-to-place job seekers. L.A. Kitchen’s culinary job training program prepares youth aging out of foster care and older adults exiting the prison system for jobs in the food service and healthcare industries as certified food handlers and puts valuable work experience on their resumes. The program takes a whole-person approach through a combination of vocational training, incorporating culinary arts, life skills, nutrition education, community advocacy, and professional development.
Earlier in the day, Egger delivered a presentation to local foundations and donors entitled, “Breaking Bad (Funding Habits).” The session was organized by San Diego Grantmakers and sponsored by the Leichtag Foundation. Egger challenged the group to make advocacy a grantmaking priority, to identify opportunities for social enterprises to partner with local governments, and to start preparing now for an aging society with limited financial resources.
Watch below for Robert Egger’s complete presentation: