Empowering the Homeless

Robert Egger & Charles Evans

At this meeting, we remind ourselves to empower those less fortunate than us in the hopes that one day they will be able to pay such kindness forward. Los Angeles has recently declared a state of emergency regarding the homeless epidemic in our city. No matter how bleak the current state of affairs appears to be, Los Angeles’ resilience as a community will always be something worth celebrating.  

Last week, Charles Evans, from the educational non-profit Schools on Wheels, spoke on the issue of homeless children. Perhaps the most shocking revelation from his speech is that the average homeless person is just nine years old. Schools on Wheels aims to combat this plight by tutoring these children to help them catch up with the educational progress of their peers. Charles shared with LA5 the milestones of success that he experienced in 2016:
•    Over 1,000 volunteers
•    Over 2,500 students 
•    2,746 backpacks with supplies
•    22 scholarships
•    Successful implementation of a tutoring program on LAUSD’s campuses

Introductory thoughts: Robert Egger

“I don’t feed the poor.
I help explore the power of food to liberate the poor.
There is a difference”

This past Friday, the founder of LA Kitchen, Robert Egger, shared his story with the LA5 family. Robert’s passion began in the night club industry while working in Washington D.C. Many of his colleagues worked in catering and the restaurant business. Robert was amazed with how much food they threw out at the end of the night, and decided to put this extra food to good use. What started as a method to feed the less fortunate in D.C. became a platform to actually empower and employ the homeless. Robert started in Washington at the D.C. Central Kitchen by producing meals for a wide variety of non-profits.  A native to Los Angeles, he eventually returned to his home city and started LA Kitchen. This initiative has successfully employed every participant trainee. LA Kitchen sources cosmetically imperfect local produce from the Los Angeles area. The team then makes nutritional, thoughtful, and delicious meals for a wide variety of clients. In return, they receive the skills and training they need to forge a more stable life.

Key Takeaways:
•    Puree is the future
•    Senior citizens need re-vamped nutrition programs
•    LA needs to embrace our gray
•    Locally sourced produce is better than organic
•    Meat should be treated as a condiment to our vegetables 


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