TEACHING AND PROCESSING KITCHEN

FOODCHAIN’s UNIQUE KITCHEN WILL BE A COMMUNITY SPACE DEDICATED TO INCREASING FRESH FOOD ACCESS AND LIVING WAGE JOBS THROUGH EDUCATION AND LIGHT PROCESSING OF LOCAL SURPLUS PRODUCE.

 

Teaching Kitchen

The front portion of the Kitchen has 3 teaching stations, equipped with home kitchen appliances. All of our classes will revolve around fresh, seasonal produce that is locally available. This teaching kitchen will enable its learners to gain familiarity, knowledge, and comfortability working with whole products and transforming them into healthful and delicious meals at home.

We host cooking classes for all ages including:

• after school and summer classes for youth
• knife skills and food safety for adults
• guest chef classes for more advanced cooks
• meal planning for families on a budget
• and more!

These classes also provide soft skills such as:

• time management
• team work
• leadership
• physical communication
• collaboration
• inclusion

Cook. Eat. Grow. Kids Cooking Classes

The fall session of Cook. Eat. Grow. kids cooking classes is under way! We are currently hosting classes for kids ages 8-11 from three of our neighborhood public schools. But we need volunteers to help teach kids how to work with fresh, seasonal produce in a fun and exciting way! To find out more about opportunities to volunteer working with kids email shelby@foodchainlex.org or just sign up for a time slot here!

Processing Kitchen

Did you know that currently 40% of all food produced in the US is wasted? To reduce this, FoodChain’s Kitchen is partnering with GleanKY, area farmers, KY Farms to FoodBanks, and God’s Pantry to utilize “seconds produce,” fresh product that is unsellable through typical markets.

FoodChain’s Processing Kitchen Team will lightly process these local fruits and veggies by washing, sorting, chopping, blanching, freezing, pureeing, and more. This step transforms the seconds produce into a more convenient, usable, and accessible product for both home cooks and large institutions, such as public schools.

Processing local produce is an essential and currently missing step towards creating a sustainable and economically viable food system. By processing, we will be turning carrots into carrot soup, pumpkins into a puree, and creating the familiar bags of frozen vegetables but now made with local, fresh produce.

The bulk of this processing is done in our Food Sector Job Training Program, recruiting under and unemployed individuals from our community to learn professional kitchen safety and sanitation, knife skills, working through barriers to employment, and familiarity with fresh products including local produce and fish. This is a paid training program through a grant from LFUCG, with partnerships to provide bus passes through LexTran. To find out more about participating, making referrals, or if you are a local food business who would like to host externs or be an employment site, please email leandra@foodchainlex.org.

 

Community Space

An essential role of the Kitchen is its ability to serve as a gathering space for our neighbors and a safe, welcoming place for community development, brought to life through the unifying power of shared food.

This Kitchen fosters an environment of inclusion and the formation of shared memories with:

  • Potlucks
  • Community Meals
  • Welcome Spaces to sit, eat, talk, and share

These events encourage celebration through storytelling of the history and culture of this neighborhood as well as recognition and camaraderie of fellow residents.

The Kitchen will be an employer of the community, collect recipes for the preservation of important cultural history, and host chefs and home cooks from the neighborhood to teach classes and lead cooking demonstrations.

FoodChain’s Teaching and Processing Kitchen is be a place for any person to feel welcome, a place to come learn about and share good food with good people.

The Kitchen encourages creativity and craft, and be a fun place to meet a smiling face.

To volunteer for our community meals, you can sign up for dates here, or find out more by emailing info@foodchainlex.org.