Liberty’s Kitchen Receives Single Largest Grant Commitment to Date from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
New Orleans, LA – Today, Liberty’s Kitchen announced its receipt of a $1,200,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The grant, the largest single funding commitment in Liberty’s Kitchen’s history, will support the organization’s cornerstone workforce development programs over the next three years. Funds will also support strategic planning, provide core support and increase organizational capacity as the nonprofit social enterprise charts its course ahead. Since its founding, Liberty’s Kitchen has expanded greatly from its original workforce training provider model. Leadership programming has become an essential part of the organization’s mission, as it encourages area youth to “learn, grow, and lead” through its key programs. The organization has sharpened its focus on career advancement for its graduates through a pilot Career Track program supported by the Aspen Institute. Innovative food justice initiatives provide entrepreneurial opportunities for alumni and include supplying fresh produce to local corner stores through the Healthy Corner Store Collaborative, a community needs assessment in conjunction with Top Box Foods and Tulane University’s Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, and expanded farm-to-school efforts including an on-site school garden through the School Nutrition Program. The Hilton Foundation is committed to building career pathways for youth in the hospitality sector. This grant commitment comes at a critical inflection point for Liberty’s Kitchen, which has grown significantly in the past year with the launch of a new retail location at 1615 Poydras Street and the renovation and expansion of its headquarters at 300 N. Broad Street, culminating in the Taylor Center for Young Leadership. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Program Officer Elizabeth Cheung commented, “The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is excited to renew our partnership with Liberty’s Kitchen. Liberty’s Kitchen is an exemplary organization making an immeasurable difference for the lives of young people in their community.” Liberty’s Kitchen Executive Director Dave Emond remarked, “Our young people are our most precious resource, and the Hilton Foundation’s generous investment is a wonderful statement of faith in their potential. We are grateful to the foundation for being a thought-partner and cheerleader as we seek to build a more equitable landscape for them to learn, grow, and lead.” Since 2009, Liberty’s Kitchen has served more than 650 youth, investing in their potential to achieve their vision of success. The organization has more than 40 active employment partners throughout New Orleans, all of whom are committed to providing opportunity and training through externships and employment. In addition, Liberty’s Kitchen is a local leader in providing high quality, great-tasting, and nutritious food to children attending local public charter schools. Since 2010, the organization has prepared and served well over 2.5 million meals, raising the standard of nutrition and helping New Orleans school children excel in the classroom and beyond. Liberty’s Kitchen operates a retail café at 300 Broad Street and a retail cafeteria at 1615 Poydras St. The organization provides a wide range of catering services from office lunches to wedding receptions and everything in between.