New Orleans, LA – Today, Liberty’s Kitchen announced its plans to develop the Taylor Center for Young Leadership. The 6,000 square foot facility will be housed adjacent to Liberty’s Kitchen’s existing space on Broad Street, providing increased classroom, counseling, technology, and recreational space, as well as a platform for graduates of Liberty’s Kitchen’s successful youth development program to take important steps toward full civic engagement.
The Taylor Center will also include a large gathering area, enabling Liberty’s Kitchen to host a wide range of community events and engage the public more fully in the call to support New Orleans youth. The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation has committed $250,000 in support of the project and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has committed an additional $50,000. A capital campaign is underway to raise the remaining funds. The project architect is Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, and Woodward Design+Build will serve as contractor.
Liberty’s Kitchen has been on a rapid growth trajectory, expanding to its new facility in the ReFresh Project in the summer of 2014. Last year, the organization announced $1.6 million in funding to launch a Healthy Futures Initiative, lengthening and strengthening programs and expanding enrollment capacity. The 501 (c) 3 organization is also a proud participant in the WK Kellogg Foundation’s “Young Men’s Voices (have) Power” (YMVP) Project investment, which aims to help opportunity youth, including boys and men of color, increase their economic opportunities, build their skills and networks, and ultimately shape the systems that affect their lives.
“The expansion of Liberty’s Kitchen, both in concept and facilities, will provide a much needed venue to further the opportunities of the youth of our community to become self-sustaining,” commented Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor, Chairman and President of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. “Our Foundation is pleased to participate and encourages others to join in this venture.”
Brian Kish, President of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, noted: “The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has been a proud supporter of Liberty’s Kitchen since 2010, and we are excited to be a part of this important expansion. It is programs like these that help bring to life Emeril & Alden’s vision of inspiring youth to reach their fullest potential.”
David Emond, Liberty’s Kitchen’s Executive Director, addressed the recent commitments, saying: “It is such an exciting time for our mission. We are blessed by the generosity of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. Their investments will make possible a whole new world of opportunity for the youth we exist to serve.”
Liberty’s Kitchen is located at 300 N. Broad Street in New Orleans, adjacent to Whole Foods Market in the ReFresh Project. The nonprofit operates a café and coffee shop which is open to the public Monday-Saturday for breakfast and lunch.
About Liberty’s Kitchen
Since 2009, Liberty’s Kitchen has worked to improve the lives of New Orleans youth through work readiness training, leadership development, and healthy food access. Liberty’s Kitchen has received leadership funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Baptist Community Ministries, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Methodist Health System Foundation, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, and the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. A model member of Catalyst Kitchens, a national network of foodservice-based social enterprises, Liberty’s Kitchen has served more than 500 youth and served more than 2 million fresh, healthy school meals in partnership with New Orleans College Prep.