Liberty’s Kitchen provides pathways for New Orleans youth to create and achieve their vision of success through workforce training, leadership development, and support of healthy lifestyles. To date, we have trained over 600 disconnected youth in life skills and foodservice-based workforce development through our Youth Development Program (YDP), and the ranks are growing. Our graduates are hired or re-enrolled in education at a rate of 90% upon graduation, and 80% retain those jobs at six months.
Our School Nutrition Program has provided over 2 million freshly prepared, healthy meals to local public schools and daycares. We are continuing to grow this important part of our mission by partnering with initiatives that put fresh produce in neighborhood corner stores and develop affordable meal options for low-income housing developments.
Our participants are New Orleans youth, ages 16-24, who are out of work and out of school. The risk factors for these young people include higher poverty rates, low educational attainment, a lack of work skills and experience, and mental health and substance abuse issues. New Orleans youth live in an especially difficult environment, but despite their many challenges, they are hopeful and seeking success. These are exactly the young people that the Liberty’s Kitchen Youth Development Program is poised to help through our foodservice-based training and work-readiness programs.
Our School Nutrition Program, currently provides about 4,000 nourishing, made-from-scratch meals daily to New Orleans low-income to extremely low-income public school children. In fact, 98% of the children we serve qualify for a free or reduced lunch. Through our School Nutrition Program we are changing eating habits and teaching proper nutrition to New Orleans school children.
Catalyst Kitchens is a collaborative network of organizations with a shared vision to empower lives through job training, self-generate revenue through social enterprise, and nourish bodies and minds through quality foodservice. Liberty’s Kitchen has been designated as a Model Member of Catalyst Kitchens, recognized as a leader in the field of social enterprise and representing the vision of the network. This distinction was attained within two years of Liberty’s Kitchen’s launch.
Liberty’s Kitchen is an independent organization which implements its own programs and innovations while benefiting from Catalyst Kitchens oversight and accreditation.
“Since its inception, I have been captivated by the growth, progress and impact of Liberty’s Kitchen – and the sheer determination of its founder Janet Davas to build a strong organization that is dedicated to its community and especially to the youth it serves. There are very few tangible paths for New Orleans youth to break the cycles of poverty and joblessness. Liberty’s Kitchen not only provides a tangible path, but “doubles down” on its mission impact by providing transformational training and nutritious meals to children in need. As a model member of Catalyst Kitchens, Liberty’s Kitchen serves as a premier example of the impact food-service social enterprise is having on communities across the country.” – David H. Carleton, VP FareStart / Director Catalyst Kitchens
Sustainability: What It Means To Be Green
From the moment Liberty’s Kitchen first opened our doors, we have taken our third bottom line of sustainability very seriously. As a social enterprise, Liberty’s Kitchen utilizes green practices in all of our foodservice operations:
- Eco-friendly paper goods and disposables
- Composting of appropriate food waste
- Our own Herb and Tomato Garden