A day with LA Kitchen
Back from hiatus, and super happy to finally share this with you. Back in December, I was fortunate to get a group of friends together and volunteer at LA Kitchen for a day.
I have always wanted to do more volunteer work, like a lot of us do. Most people think of these things during the Holiday Season, and try to join existing events, food donations, street fairs, or anything to help out those in need. With so much going on in this world, I had thought about starting a group, that would commit to volunteering on a regular basis. I wanted my friends & I to come together, for everyone to pick an organization off their liking to which we could all go and lend a hand and our support to. Some people fight for women rights, some love to engage and save animals, others are involved in the LGBTQ Community and passionately work to create a better now. Some of my friends love to work with Kids. I figured, if we all commit and put in time to volunteer for different causes, we all grow and learn from it and have more empathy towards unknown (non relate) issues to us. I also hoped this would show the world, that people from all walks of life can come together and fight for each-others rights and needs. In the early stages of planning the first one of these ‘events’, I was super excited by the feedback I had received from my friends and almost everyone was ecstatic to participate. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and most people could not make it. I decided to go through with it regardless and embrace the opportunity at hand.
After doing my research I came across an organization based out of Los Angeles, LA Kitchen, and loved the idea of starting on a local level. Everyone wants to make a change right, and don’t they always say you should start local? (that’s what I heard)
L.A. Kitchen believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. By reclaiming healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, training men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens, L.A. Kitchen empowers, nourishes, and engages the community. As Volunteers you help to transform donated fruits and produce into healthy, scratch-made meals that are distributed to Los Angeles area shelters, transitional homes, after-school programs and nonprofit organizations, saving them money and nourishing the people participating in their programs. L.A. Kitchen provides meaningful and educational volunteer opportunities for students, corporate groups, civic organizations, and individuals. Volunteers can expect to engage in meaningful work to have a deeper understanding of the impact of L.A. Kitchen’s work in the community.
The day we had signed up for, we got to work closely with the main chefs and help prepare a Ratatouille for different shelters in the LA Area. We had to follow some basic guidelines beforehand about outfit choices. As you can see on the pictures below, we were super hair-net chic. Side note: Always make good fashion choices, no matter where you are 😉 So here I was, hair-netted, wearing cropped denim culottes, in my ‘I used to live on the East-Coast’ Sneakers, fashionably volunteering learning how to chop potato looking organic carrots in a non-wasteful way.
I was lucky enough to get a tour and understand the process of food donations, preparations, and the re-distribution into the community. For example: It was amazing to see that they had boxes of persimmons (I Looooovve Persimmon) and grains, quinoa, pineapples, you know, the expensive fruits and foods. Knowing that through LA Kitchen, less fortunate families will have access to highly nutritious meals warmed my heart. I also got to meet some of the recent graduates of their in-house culinary program, who were just wrapping up the morning shift. I talked to a super nice guy, who had gone through the program and was hired on early based on his great performance. Someone, who otherwise probably would have not have gotten the chance to start over, to find a new purpose and passion in life. Honestly, the day left my heart so full. I wish we can continue to get involved with great organizations like LA Kitchen. Of course, there are those organizations or programs, that make it difficult and complex to get into volunteering with them. I am so happy I was able to work with Elena, who made everything so easy and ‘convenient’ for us. These people dedicate their lives to do meaningful selfless work day in and day out. I am so humbled by this experience and appreciative of my friends who’ve joined me that day. I will continue to find programs and help out. If you are in the LA area, and interested in joining our group, and even have a cause and organization you would love to support, please feel free to email me.
Boyle Heights Delivery of the Day
Be Kind to one another, we can all make small changes that will have big impacts in the world!