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About Us

Our Mission

Transforming lives through culinary arts.

Our Approach

Kitchens for Good is a sustainability-oriented San Diego nonprofit dedicated to making a positive impact on our economy, society, and environment. 

The heartbeat of the organization is our three tuition-free Apprenticeship Programs – Culinary, Baking, and Hospitality (Front-of-House) – which help individuals facing barriers to employment gain the skills needed to create sustainable careers. The program consists of ~3 months technical and life skills training and career coaching on our campus in Linda Vista, followed by ~17 months of paid on-the-job training with one of our Employer Partners. In addition to acquiring dozens of requisite core competencies, Apprentices practice environmental stewardship with root-to-stem/nose-to-tail (whole ingredient) cooking practices, reducing use of plastics, and composting.

To remove obstacles which might impact Apprentices’ attendance during the skills training, they receive weekly stipends to help cover costs while they are in class, transportation support, breakfast and lunch, and an unending supply of TLC. Holistic support services are available to Apprentices for the duration of the 20-month program. Our new social enterprise WORKS is a staffing solution which facilitates Apprentices’ transitions to their on-the-job training by providing comprehensive Human Resources as needed and significantly reducing onboarding costs for our Employer Partners.

Our kitchenware resale SHOP accepts gently used kitchenware, cookware, dinnerware, and home décor items and resells them. Inventory changes daily, offering an eclectic mix of everyday staples, high end brand names, unique one-of-a-kind items, vintage treasures, and more – all at unbeatable prices! Proceeds from all sales go to support Kitchens for Good programs. Unwanted items are kept out of landfills and items that have been loved too much for us to resell find other homes, are repurposed, or recycled. We also work with a number of community partners to help educate San Diego on ways to reduce organic waste on an ongoing basis.

History

Kitchens for Good (KFG) was founded in 2014 when Founder Chuck Samuelson, and Co-Founder Aviva Paley, saw a dilemma of an enormous amount of food waste while one in seven San Diegans went hungry. As they tried to find a solution to bridge this gap, they realized that merely rescuing food to provide meals wasn’t going to solve the crisis of hunger. Those who suffer from hunger and food insecurity need a means to reach economic self-sufficiency through jobs that pay a sustainable wage. The answer was a Culinary Apprenticeship Program that would provide workforce training to individuals hardest hit by unemployment and food insecurity. 

In summer 2015, KFG launched operations at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in Southeast San Diego. At the Jacobs Center, KFG operated its award-winning catering enterprise, and its culinary job training program. In 2019, KFG expanded its reach to North County San Diego, by operating the kitchen and restaurant at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. In 2021, Kitchens for Good moved onto the Salvation Army Door of Hope campus and expanded its Apprenticeship Program offerings. The organization also began its food service operations at The Rady Shell. In 2022, Kitchens for Good SHOP opened its doors in Pacific Beach, selling donated kitchenware, with the proceeds from all sales to Kitchens for Good programs.

In just seven years, KFG has become one of San Diego’s most innovative and successful examples of an organization focused on developing sustainable solutions for positively impacting our economy, our society and our environment. 

Learn More About Our Programs

Apprenticeship Programs

Training people to thrive in careers in the culinary and hospitality industry

Food Waste Reduction