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Monday, September 16, 2013

L.A. Kitchen

"Neither food nor people should ever go to waste."

That is the quote on a "nice to meet you" postcard I received from Robert Egger.

I met Robert last week at a symposium held at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica. He was on a panel, entitled "Hungry and Obese: Food and America's Well-Being," with six other food pioneers, including my friend Nona Evans of the Whole Kids Foundation. Each panelist could have spoken for an hour about their passion for ending obesity and feeding the hungry, but it was Robert’s passion that I was particularly inspired by.

The list of panelists.

Robert is well-known in Washington, D.C. for the DC Central Kitchen. He has moved to Los Angeles to start L.A. Kitchen, which will collect the abundance of fruits and vegetables in Los Angeles and process them to create healthy meals, snacks and food products for those less fortunate. Simultaneously, he wants to train those who are unemployed, of all ages, in the culinary arts to provide powerful employment opportunities.

Click here to read the inspiring mission of L.A. Kitchen.

When I found out that L.A. Kitchen just received the first ever $1 million grant from AARP, I thought helping them was out of my league. Since I don't have a million dollars to give them, I offered to do what I can: take them on an early-morning tour of the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market and introduce them to some of my produce friends, who could potentially donate to L.A. Kitchen. I also offered to introduce them to my food media friends, who might want to spread the word about their important work.

How many times do you find out about an organization whose cause you support, but don't feel like you have enough to contribute or make a difference? Well, don’t let that stand in your way any longer!

Volunteer your time. Make a small contribution of whatever you can afford. Share your expertise. Every one of us has something to contribute.

Since ending hunger is high on my personal priority list, I was thrilled to meet Robert and know that I can make a difference in L.A. Kitchen’s success…and it didn't have to be a million dollars.

Karen

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