L.A. Kitchen is brand new. Many of its core ideas have been proven successful — though, never quite in this dynamic combination. L.A. Kitchen is the latest venture of Robert Egger, the author of the award winning book “Begging for Change, The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding for All” and the pioneering creator of D.C. Central Kitchen, The Campus Kitchens Project, and CForwa
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L.A. Kitchen is brand new. Many of its core ideas have been proven successful — though, never quite in this dynamic combination. L.A. Kitchen is the latest venture of Robert Egger, the author of the award winning book “Begging for Change, The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding for All” and the pioneering creator of D.C. Central Kitchen, The Campus Kitchens Project, and CForward.
D.C. Central Kitchen, founded in Washington, D.C. in 1989, is now a thriving $11 million nonprofit with a $6 million social enterprise portfolio. Egger created DCCK to turn leftover food into balanced meals in a ‘central kitchen’ that could in turn deliver them to 100 other nonprofits that were spending too much for substandard meals. There, he launched a culinary training program that brought in some of the city’s toughest cases — men and women written off as hopeless, helpless, or both — and prepared them for lasting careers. Since 2008, DCCK’s 370 culinary graduates have averaged a job placement rate of 90%, despite the weak economy, and are 96% less likely to return to prison than ex-offenders nationwide. Egger’s results inspire 14,000 individuals to contribute their time and effort as volunteers to DC Central Kitchen each year.
Egger launched The Campus Kitchens Project in 2001, because he saw a generation of young people dedicated to community service, but few nonprofits capable of maximizing their tremendous potential. Today, there are 34 CKP sites in 20 states across America, led by 5,000 tireless student volunteers who turned idle college and high school dining halls and cafeteria leftovers into new tools in the fight against hunger. In addition to preparing meals, CKP is preparing a new generation of community leaders. In 2012, 45% of CKP’s student volunteers reported that their experiences had changed their entire career path, opening their eyes to new needs and new opportunities.
His work in Washington earned him numerous accolades and awards, including being named an Oprah Angel, the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year and a Washingtonian of the Year.
In 2006, Egger Co-Convened the first Nonprofit Congress, and in 2011, he launched CForward, America’s first Political Action Committee for nonprofits. Nonprofits comprise 10% of the US economy and 10% of the American workforce, but they speak with no common voice in our electoral process. In 2012, CForward made history by endorsing 8 candidates, representing both major parties, who had strong, clear plans for strengthening nonprofits and their role in solving key problems. Most won. This work also earned him a spot on the “Top 50 Most Influential Nonprofit leaders” four years in a row.
Now, Egger’s energy, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit are here in the region where he grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s, with an added focus on fighting the needless waste of fresh produce and strengthening our senior citizens. It’s time for change.
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