Liberty’s Kitchen is a social enterprise dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable New Orleans youth. We provide a path to bright and healthy futures through employability and life skills training and by providing freshly prepared, nutritious meals to school children.
At Liberty’s Kitchen, we help young people access futures that are healthy and sustainable, enabling them to achieve personal and economic independence in adulthood.
Liberty’s Kitchen’s Youth Development Program provides disconnected youth with workforce and life skills training to become employed and self-sufficient. We address the many issues that create barriers to self-sufficiency with wrap-around support including health care, mental health, housing, GED completion, parenting issues, and financial literacy.
Through our School Nutrition Program, we provide undernourished school children with healthy, scratch-made meals prepared fresh onsite at their schools. By ensuring that low-income students have access to better nutrition and nutrition education in school, Liberty’s Kitchen contributes to the fight to end the epidemic of childhood obesity and increase youth achievement.
Our recent expansion to the ReFresh Project – a groundbreaking “Fresh Food Hub” with an urban Whole Foods Market, Tulane University, and others – allows us to expand our impact and pursue innovative strategies to achieve social impact through food.
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