Kitchens for Good

Where Food Changes Lives

San Diego, CA   |  www.kitchensforgood.org

Mission

Kitchens for Good's mission is to transform lives through culinary arts. We integrate education, social enterprise, & sustainability to positively impact our economy, society, and environment. In 2014, our co-founders realized that those who suffer from hunger not only need food, but also a means to reach economic self-sufficiency through jobs that pay a living wage. Our culinary, baking, and hospitality apprenticeship programs provide individuals with a history of trauma that cause barriers to employment, the life and job skills, paid on-the-job training, job placements, and access to supportive social services needed to launch successful, long-term careers in San Diego's robust hospitality industry.

Ruling year info

2014

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Jennifer Gilmore

Main address

2799 Health Center Drive

San Diego, CA 92123 USA

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Formerly known as

Phoenix Foods USA

EIN

46-3278605

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (T01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated unemployment rates in San Diego, especially for those with gaps in work history and lack of transferable skills. E.G., previously incarcerated individuals have an unemployment rate of 45% in their first year of release from prison (Looney and Turner, 2018) and transitional foster youth have an unemployment rate of 43% (Mark E. Courtney et al., 2018). We offer a tuition-free, state-registered apprenticeship program that trains individuals experiencing the highest barriers to employment for careers in San Diego's robust hospitality industry. Beyond a short-term job placement program, Project Launch is a 17-month apprenticeship program that focuses on long-term career advancement through skill and wage growth. Our alternative staff agency model provides wages and benefits while continuing to access individualized supportive social services.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Project Launch

Project Launch is a free, certified culinary apprenticeship program for individuals with significant barriers to employment. The program includes 360 hours of workforce training followed by 2,460 hours of paid, on- the-job training leading toward a California State Apprenticeship Certification. The curriculum teaches both technical culinary and job readiness skills to ensure that students are fully prepared for the workforce. Apprentices also participate in career and wellness coaching and have access to social service resources. Career coaching equips apprentices with conflict resolution skills, nonviolent communication, sobriety support, and other vital skills to improve apprentices' success in the workplace. We then hire apprentices through our alternative staffing agency and place them with employer partners for on-the-job training, where they experience the fast-paced world of professional kitchens and food establishments while also continuing to receive support from us.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people
Substance abusers
Ethnic and racial groups

Project Nourish was our community-facing hunger-relief program that provided meals to nonprofit partners who served food insecure community members. The operation combined our professional kitchen facilities, a small staff, and vast volunteer network to produce healthy, heat and serve meals for seniors living on a fixed income, families that live at or near the federal poverty level, refugee families, and low-income college students. Starting July 2022, this program will be reorganized under Project Launch, with the goal of providing 60,000 meals. One third of these meals will be provided to Project Launch apprentices themselves, who often struggle to pay rent, childcare expenses, utility bills, and are experiencing hunger. In addition, meals will be provided at special events in partnership with mission-like local nonprofits. Finally, un-sold meals from The Shell concession stand will be distributed to unsheltered individuals in downtown San Diego after performances.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Older adults

With the goal of improving the long-term employment outcomes of Project Launch, Kitchens for Good began operating an alternative staffing agency to be the employer-of-record for apprentices when they begin on-the-job training. For the employer partners, representing over 50 food establishments, WORKS alleviates the cost and time handling human resources tasks, like processing timecards and providing health insurance, while also saving them thousands of dollars in turnover costs. In addition to receiving a fair wage with fringe benefits, apprentices continue receiving career mentorship, resume building, financial literacy instruction, and referrals to a holistic array of social services. WORKS generates premiums paid by employer partners to defray the costs of the apprenticeship program. This enhancement in current services will impact the larger community as apprentices advance in and sustain their careers, even in the wake of pandemic concerns.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people
Ethnic and racial groups
Adults

SHOP is a new enterprise to sustainably generate revenue for our core programs by curating and selling preloved kitchen wares, unique food items, and hand-crafted goods. This omni-channel retail operation ensures that the typical 25 percent of unused household kitchen items and appliances in the average household find a new home instead of going to a landfill. Recycling just one pot or pan saves 850,829 Metric tons of CO2 emissions — the equivalent of 185,000 cars taken off the road for one year (EPA Waste Reduction Model). Along with resale items, this enterprise provides local entrepreneurs, including apprentice alumni, a venue to sell their cottage industry products and is an excellent opportunity for many women and BIPOC small-business owners to increase sales and financial sustainability. SHOP is also an exciting avenue for our supporters and volunteers to increase engagement with apprentices and our mission.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Kitchens for Good’s concession stand at The Rady Shell, a premier amphitheater along San Diego's embarcadero, supports career progression for hospitality front-of-house apprentices. House-made soups and sides are sold during the 100+ performances and private events each year providing revenue to invest in core programs like Project Launch. All unsold products are distributed to unsheltered individuals in the downtown area or clients of mission-similar, community based organizations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards - Culinary 2016

California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards - Baking 2020

California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards - Hospitality 2020

Affiliations & memberships

Catalyst Kitchens 2016

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average hourly wage of clients who became employed after job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Unemployed people, Adults, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Project Launch

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Kitchens for Good tracks employment and wage data for all apprentices for 18 months post-graduation and compares this with baseline data collected upon entry into the program.

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Unemployed people, Ethnic and racial groups, Adults

Related Program

Project Launch

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of apprentices completing Project Launch in-class skills training increased until the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in FY22 we expect to return to a completion rate of 80% of enrollees.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Seniors, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people

Related Program

Project Nourish

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Meals are created from scratch by Kitchens for Good's employees and apprentices as part of the Project Launch California state certified Apprenticeship Programs (culinary, baking and hospitality).

Total revenue generated through social enterprise

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Project Launch

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Kitchens for Good's earned revenue activities included catering and meal contracts prior to COVID-19. Three other social enterprises have been launched with the goal of raising 35% of total by 2023.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Unemployed people, Adults, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Project Launch

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Project Launch apprenticeship program's enrollment was disrupted by the COVID-19 FYs 19, 20 and 21. Starting FY22 enrollment is expected to be reach our capacity of 144 apprentices per year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected this metric, however, individual and corporate sponsored volunteering is on the rise now that social distancing and mask mandates have been lifted.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As the need for prepared meals slows this metric is decreasing. However, individual and corporate sponsored volunteering is rising again due to the easing of public health safety mandates.

Number of employer partners offering jobs to clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Unemployed people, Ethnic and racial groups, Adults

Related Program

Project Launch

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The COVID-19 pandemic gravely affected the number of employer partners (hotels and restaurants) being able to offer jobs to our apprentices. The hospitality industry is now back on track.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Kitchens for Good’s mission is to transform lives through culinary arts. We believe that kitchens can be drivers of social and economic good in communities. We intend to fill the growing workforce needs of the hospitality and culinary sectors in San Diego by training capable and talented individuals who face barriers to employment such as previous involvement in the justice or foster care system, unsheltered living, substance or mental health challenges, or the myriad systemic impacts of living in poverty. We also aim to be a premier model of social enterprise in the culinary industry that is both profitable and impactful, using food to create sustainable social change in communities.

Our key strategies for achieving our aims are an apprentice-first vision of operation, trauma-informed services, and a robust portfolio of social enterprises. Apprentice-first operations put the wellbeing and success of our apprentices at the center of everything we do at KFG. The staff and leadership bring a growth-oriented mindset to continue evolving the organization into the best version of itself it can be. Our method of instruction is based on practices including Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Supported Employment, Trauma-Informed Language best practices, and Stages of Change.

We recruit individuals into our culinary job training program who have significant barriers to employment, such as youth who have aged out of the foster care system, individuals who were incarcerated and/or underemployed individuals who lack education to participate in traditional culinary programs. We deliver a curriculum that teaches culinary and hospitality skills, as well as providing career readiness skills and assistance with job placement. Our strategies target our resources in the most effective way to ensure a triple bottom line and a long-term impact.

Since its founding in 2014, Kitchens for Good (KFG) has been committed to a social enterprise model that generates earned revenue from food-service enterprises to reinvest in programs, ensure organizational sustainability, and provide on-the-job training to apprentices. For the last five years, KFG operated a successful and robust catering and events enterprise as well as a restaurant at a theatre venue. For over five years, these enterprises generated more than $1,500,000 annually, representing 50% of the organization’s revenue, and provided thousands of hours of paid employment to apprentices. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and gathering restrictions caused an abrupt and enduring halt to these enterprises.

During this time, we obtained a long-term lease agreement for and moved to a state-of-the-art kitchen facility and learning center. Professional chefs use industry-led culinary teaching curriculum while career and life skills coach guides our apprentices to ensure that they not only get hired, but practice interpersonal and professional skills to sustain employment and advance in their careers. Through participation in several collaborative alliances and committees, KFG ensures that its work adds value to existing programs rather than duplicating services. KFG is an active member of the San Diego Reentry Roundtable, a coalition of representatives from community-based organizations, government, correctional institutions, and concerned citizens who work on issues facing current and formerly incarcerated populations.

KFG receives ongoing technical assistance from partner consulting agencies, including Catalyst Kitchens and REDF, two national networks of job training programs that serve high-risk populations and provide ongoing consulting support such as program design, curriculum development, student support services, and evaluation. Catalyst Kitchens is helping KFG develop the Food Service Management Apprenticeship Program curriculum. REDF will be providing technical assistance in the coming year on employer recruitment and retention. KFG is also part of the New and Innovative Apprenticeship Initiative Community of Practice, a network of grantees implementing new apprenticeship programs and sharing best practices and resources. Finally, KFG continues to receive Social Venture Partners and the Chairman’s Roundtable pro-bono consulting services around reimagining social enterprise, developing and tracking its new three-year strategic plan.

Since Kitchens for Good began in 2014, we have enrolled 480 students: motivated jobseekers experiencing food or housing insecurity. Since 2015, we have provided 13,743 hours of paid in-house employment, paying $181,742 in wages to our student apprentices. Since then, we have seen alumni begin their own micro-enterprises and be promoted into Executive Chef and management roles. Over the years, our network of 5,522 volunteers has prepared and packaged a total of 687,639 meals for our neighbors experiencing hunger.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the program had a strong track record of success, having achieved an 85% job placement rate post-instruction, with graduates earning an above-average starting wage, with most employed graduates earning a wage increase within 18 months post-graduation. Apprentices have become Sous Chefs, Chefs, and Restaurant Managers and now hire other KFG apprentices in their kitchens. Enrollment, apprenticeship completion, and apprentice contact with KFG all suffered during the pandemic period as individuals left the area, left the culinary industry, or had to pause their training.

In the wake of the pandemic and evolving with the implementation of WORKS, KFG sees an upswing in enrollment, retention, and wages of apprentices. Out of the most recent cohort (the first employed under WORKS), 83% of apprentices were retained and moved on to OJT after the instruction period. All have been placed or are interviewing with employer partners, barring one apprentice in the process of obtaining official identification to pursue employment.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Since our founding, Kitchens for Good has mainly served Extremely Low to Low- and Moderate-income County of San Diego adults (18 years or older) experiencing unemployment or underemployment and who have been impacted by trauma including foster care, previous incarceration, unsheltered living, substance abuse or mental health challenges which are creating barriers to employment. The average demographic data since inception is: 27% White, 25% Black/African American, 12% Latino/Hispanic, 15% Multiracial, 6% Other/Did Not Specify, 5% American Indian/Native Alaskan, 4% unknown, 4% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Kitchens for Good ensures that the unique knowledge and culturally relevant experiences that apprentices bring to the program are recognized and included in the curriculum. We incorporate all feedback from apprentices on a continuing basis to inform changes to the curriculum and program design. Apprentice feedback has led to critical program changes and developments, including a baking and food service management track, the stronger emphasis on recipe conversion and culinary math. We have also shifted the curriculum from a traditional culinary model that reveres European traditions and chefs to be more inclusive, celebrating diverse, ethnic food and chefs of color.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    As we learn more about the personal life circumstances and socio-economic challenges that caused some of our apprentices to either discontinue the program or not secure employment, our approach has changed. Our curriculum now integrates a trauma-informed approach that supports apprentices in navigating social-emotional wellness, teamwork, and self-advocacy to sustain their success beyond apprenticeship. This Apprentice-Centered approach informed our recent strategies: becoming an alcohol-free company to promote sobriety, partnering with employers that support living wages and equitable employment practices, and positioning apprentices as future policy advocates around fair wages and employment opportunities for returning citizens.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Kitchens for Good
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kitchens for Good

Board of directors
as of 08/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Julianne Markow

Voice of San Diego

Term: 2021 - 2024

Jess Yuen

Rady Children's Hospital Foundation

Catherine Blair

Retired Educator

Howard Solomon

Solomon 2.0

Bobby Ramirez

Centerplate at the San Diego Convention Center

Shawn Parr

Bulldog Drummond

Emma Epes

EY

Malcolm Bund

Retired Industrialist

Don Williamson

Retired Professional Journalist

Sally Toister

Retired Marriott International Senior Director

Mike Irwin

Bottle Rocket Advisors

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/16/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/09/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.