Making a Difference

By: Gabby Zilkha

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The second I heard about Hot Bread Kitchen, I fell in love. From its structure, to its location, this place is a true combination of everything that is right in business.

Hot Bread Kitchen is located on 115th street and Park Ave in  la Marqueta. La Marqueta is  an old historic marketplace that  used to be very popular. It has died down a bit since then but has since been building back momentum with Hot Bread Kitchen.

It all starts with the people. The founder and CEO, Jessamyn Rodriguez, employs immigrant women and uses each of the women’s cultural backgrounds to create a melting pot of recipes. The profits from the bread pay for classes for the women. There are multiple classes offered from ESL to how to start your own business. Hot Bread Kitchen creates support in a difficult environment and they do it with social justice and passion.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!

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A super cool incubator!

They only use half of the commercial kitchen for the women bakers project. The other half of the kitchen is used for the incubator program. The incubator program gives other businesses the opportunity to work with Hot Bread Kitchen by renting out their commercial kitchen for their start up food businesses. This helps to minimize the large start up financial cost for distributing food.

They create a network for the food vendors where they can swap information. For example they hold entrepreneur exchange meetings where they give all the business owners a chance to share information, which varies from where they are getting their ingredients to what markets they are in. In addition to that, using the name Hot Bread Kitchen allows for their incubators to connect with potential big order clients. They do not make the sales for them they just make the connection. And the training and connecting works! They already have SIX of their food vendors selling in Whole Foods and many more in green markets across New York!

Bread is best when made with Social Justice!
Bread is best when made with Social Justice!

Hot Bread Kitchen is an amazing place. Go there. Hear the stories. Eat the Bread. Look out for some of the graduates of the program as well: Taste of Ethiopia, Runner & Stone, Pipsnacks,  and Donna Bells Bake Shop.You will not be disappointed especially because you know exactly where your money is going when you purchase bread or make a donation to this wonderful Non-Profit Organization.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com
 

Recycled Food May Come to a Cafe Near You

Food waste is at an all time high in the United States, with anywhere between 30 and fifty percent of all food produced going into the garbage before ever touching a plate. One Tufts University student hopes to take a stab at that statistic, offering free food taken from dumpsters outside grocery stores and serving them in a café.

Maximus Thaler has already formed a Kickstarter page to finance his endeavor, hoping to raise $1,500 to open a café that will exclusively serve discarded food. In just one Massachusetts supermarket Thaler found a slew of trendy food including turkey meatballs, organic Greek yogurt and fair trade coffee.

“We believe food is a fundamental right, and should be shared freely with all,” Thaler’s group wrote on the café’s Kickstarter page, which will be called Gleaners Kitchen. The term ‘gleaning’ was used to describe collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they had already been commercially harvested. Today gleaning refers to the collection of food from supermarkets that would ordinarily be thrown away.

This café will go beyond simply serving recycled food, but will act as a community hub hosting concerts, poetry readings, lectures and one meal a day for the hungry. Thaler and his group dig through grocery store dumpsters and separate and wash the usable food. Juices can easily be made from the produce, and they even use hummus containers as Tupperware.

According to Thaler, “The Gleaner’s Kitchen is not a business. It is not the place of commerce you might think it to be, where you pay something to get something. Our aim is not to produce commodities but to foster community.”

For those looking to become a part of the initiative, Thaler has pledged to fly anywhere in the world, go dumpster diving and cook a meal for anyone who donates $1,500 or more to his Kickstarter page.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

New Orleans Food Trucks Organize to Clarify Regulations

Food Truck Associations have been slowly taking shape in major food truck cities, and it seems that New Orleans will be no different. The New Orleans food truck operators are becoming increasingly fed-up with the status quo, and hope to unite to ease some of the regulations that are prohibiting their businesses. Some of the rules these food trucks hope to rectify concern the number of permits issued annually, the time a truck can stay in a spot, and expanding the allowed hours of operation. The food trucks collectively feel that as the local industry has changed in recent years, the regulations have become outdated.

The food trucks are currently applying for a nonprofit association before they begin clarifying regulations and requesting meetings with city council members. One of the major goals these food trucks hope to accomplish to clear the confusion around many regulations, and emulate the success of food truck organizations in other cities.

Attorney Andrew Legrand believes that bringing the food trucks together will help clearly establish their demands, “We’re at a time when New Orleans has more restaurants than ever before — I think there’s thousands — so why not have food trucks out there kind of contributing to that?” Legrand is assisting the mobile vendors with paperwork.

In Los Angeles, the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association is headed by Matt Geller. The organization started with 29 vendors and now has about 140. Geller says it is soon considering statewide expansion. One of the main reasons Geller cites for starting the organization was the same confusion about the rules. “There was a lot of misinformation. Even the regulators didn’t know what was going on.”

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

2.5 Million New Yorker’s Have Trouble Affording Enough Food

Startling news came in from the USDA today about hunger and poverty rates in New York City. The survey measured results from 2008 and 2010, and found that 2.5 million New Yorkers couldn’t afford enough food, a 50 percent increase from a similar survey taken from 2005 and 2007. The data goes deeper to note that 702,000 state residents are classified as officially going hungry, while one in seven cannot afford food at some point in a given year. These results are higher than any ever recorded before, and mark a severe problem in New York.

According to the USDA, numbers leveled off in 2010 after a three year drop, but have taken a turn for the worse. High levels of funding for state-sponsored programs may have accounted for less hunger in recent years, but recent budget cuts may have reversed this. In 2010 President Obama and Congress cut federal funding for food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries by 40% nationwide (and in New York City).

Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger said “This is the highest level of state hunger since the government started counting it. This new data proves that, over the last few years, millions of New Yorkers were at the edge of an economic cliff, with many falling off into hunger but some barely hanging on with the aid of government nutrition programs”.

New Yorker’s inside and outside of the food industry can help to rectify this situation. Nonprofits organizations are always looking for volunteers, like the Hot Bread Kitchen, which offers training to low income women to develop their own businesses. Other organizations like City Harvest work to collect excess food from restaurants and deliver them to those in need. With hunger rates rising and government programs declining, more weight than ever falls upon our efforts and those of nonprofits to keep our city full.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com