Bracken’s Kitchen will receive $21,000 to purchase a Cleveland Tilt Brazier with a 40-gallon capacity to create more stews and soups, a new hood and kitchen exhaust system build-out that facilitates cooking 90 chickens simultaneously (in an oven purchased with other funds) which allows them to meet 2019 goals to increase their food service program by 100%.

Description of how the funds will be used: 

For purchase of a Cleveland Tilt Brazier with a 40-gallon capacity to create more stews and soups, a new hood and kitchen exhaust system build-out that facilitates cooking 90 chickens simultaneously (in an oven purchased with other funds) allows them to meet 2019 goals to increase their food service program by 100%.

Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:

There are nearly 400,000 people who struggle with hunger in Orange County.

One in five is a child.

Parallel to this problem of lack, Orange County wastes a tremendous amount of food.

In 2015 alone, Orange County threw away 22,000 tons of edible food. It’s folks like Bill Bracken who are bringing together these problems for a holistic solution through Bracken’s Kitchen.

With a mission to recover, re-purpose and restore both food and lives, Bracken’s Kitchen works to create healthy, delicious, culturally relevant meals from food originally destined for the waste stream. They then deliver the food with their food trucks, Betsy and Blue, to the hungry throughout Orange County. These celebratory events are planned and ever mindful of their client’s dignity. After a 2018 move from Huntington Beach to Garden Grove, the kitchen equipment purchased with this grant is an efficient use of their larger space and helps Bracken’s Kitchen meet the growing demand for their healthy meals. In 2019, Bracken’s Kitchen intends to increase the reach of their program by doubling the number of meals they serve from approximately 150,000 meals to at least 300,000 in 2019. 2020 goals will build on this success.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards-

High Impact & Life Transforming:

Food is central to survival, but also plays an important role in our motivations and cultural identity. A meal from Bracken’s Kitchen gives clients hope. Because the meals are healthy, clients learn healthy eating habits to impact their obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition. The Bracken’s Kitchen program collaborates with many community partners. They recognize there are important root causes for poverty. A Bracken’s Kitchen encounter can be a pivotal moment for their clients though these partnerships. It’s often a first step in getting people the help they need.

Education:

From their meal service that teaches nutrition to their culinary training programs to a holistic vision that shows us all how what we previously considered waste is now good food, for Bracken’s Kitchen, education is a deep part of their culture.

Sustainability:

At an organizational level, Bracken’s Kitchen re-purposes new and low-cost food for their healthy meals to make the program financially workable. Besides diverse grants and community support for their programming, Bracken’s Kitchen offers catering through a related social enterprise. Proceeds from the catering business go back into the mission-driven work.

Community Building:

Bracken’s Kitchen builds community by collaborating with nonprofits and government agencies to develop a supportive community around our most vulnerable. They also build community through the shared dining experience they offer their clients.

Innovative:

Bracken’s Kitchen is a unique, holistic vision. Diverting food waste from the land fill to serve our most vulnerable while offering a culinary training program in food prep to lift folks out of poverty, is innovative and exciting.

Measurable:

Funding for the brazier, the hood and the build-out is measurable. It will increase food production service from 150,000 meals served in 2018 to 300,000 in 2019.

Organization’s Mission Statement:

Through food recovery, culinary training and our community feeding program, we are committed to recovering, re-purposing, and restoring both food and lives.

Link to the website:    www.brackenskitchen.com