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Media Contact: Rebecca Chalin // // 504.304.2311

New Orleans, (April 9, 2024) – Liberty’s Kitchen, a force for positive change in the New Orleans community, proudly announces a generous grant of $650,000 awarded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. This transformational gift will dramatically amplify the non-profit’s mission of providing youth with the skillset to achieve their vision of success through professional and personalized training. The grant enables the non-profit to build organizational capacity, allowing for the recruitment of key personnel integral to the expansion and enhancement of its Youth Development Program (YDP). The new positions include Program Director, Program Manager, Culinary Training Manager, Career Readiness Coordinator, and Program Coordinator.

The non-profit launched a refreshed curriculum for the 12-week program on February 26th, promising innovative solutions to pressing social issues addressing barriers to success for young people.

During this period of revitalization, the organization continues to drive their mission forward, providing invaluable opportunities for New Orleans' youth.

Bernadette Lucas, Executive Director of Liberty’s Kitchen, expressed profound gratitude towards the Hilton Foundation for their faith in the organization’s vision. “This grant is not just a financial boost; it's a vote of confidence in our work and the potential of the young people we serve. With the addition of our new team members, we’re more equipped than ever to make a lasting impact in the lives young people in New Orleans,” stated Lucas.

The Youth Development Program (YDP) has rolling enrollment for young people between the ages of 16-24 who are under or unemployed looking to advance their careers. Prospective trainees can text “LEVEL UP” to 504-315-7019 to enroll.

Liberty’s Kitchen's café is a cornerstone of the program providing hands-on training for participants. The community is encouraged to visit the 300 N Broad Street café for lunch, Monday through Friday from 11 am to 2:30 pm, to witness the transformative power of the program firsthand. All proceeds supporting youth programming.

For more information about Liberty's Kitchen and its programs, please visit Follow Liberty's Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and LinkedIn @libertyskitchen.

About Liberty’s Kitchen

Liberty’s Kitchen provides New Orleans youth with the skillset to achieve their vision of success through professional and personalized training. Founded in 2008, Liberty’s Kitchen has served over 1,000 young adults since the inception of its Youth Development Program (YDP). YDP is a 12-week workforce training program available to youth between the ages of 16-24 who are out of work and not enrolled in school. In its 15-year existence, Liberty’s Kitchen has deepened its impact to include leadership development for alumni and works with employers to sustain long-term career pathways. The public-facing café is led by alum Chef Syrena Johnson and offers affordable lunch options made and served by young people working towards a better future for themselves.

About Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth and refugee populations, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $7 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $3.2 billion worldwide, and $290 million in 2023. Please visit for more information.


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