If you’re not familiar with all of the work that El Nido Family Centers does for the L.A. area, you should be. Since 1925, El Nido has served as one of the city’s most respected social service agencies and currently benefits more than 10,000 children, youth, and family members a year. The non-profit focuses on providing social services to disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles County in the hopes of empowering low-income communities to break the cycle of poverty, child abuse, violence, academic failure, and teen pregnancy through educational, youth development, health, and therapeutic services.
Recently, El Nido has been working to grow their Garden to Table Youth Development Program. The program ultimately aims to be a biodynamic garden and kitchen space that will serve as learning laboratories for disadvantaged children, youth, and families. The initiative wants to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental awareness while providing classes with job training skills in the culinary and managerial aspects of food service and small business enterprises that participants can take into the real world.
The garden side of the project has already begun to take root, but the kitchen requires a considerable more amount of equipment and capital. When El Nido’s Executive Director Liz Herrera contacted me for help with developing the program’s kitchen, I knew she had come to the right person. All of the incredible work that El Nido provides for L.A., coupled with all of our experience in kitchen design and permitting, made the decision to help El Nido’s newest program a no-brainer for FE!
We’ve already secured permits for their new culinary kitchen and have plans to begin building the project in early 2018. When work on the space commences, FE will continue offering its design and consulting services, providing kitchen design and layout and helping to navigate the tricky permit process. Until then, we’re in the course of collecting kitchen equipment donations for the program with the help of other food industry professional contributors.
With all of the work we do, it’s refreshing to be able to help out an organization that really needs it. We’re thrilled to be apart of cultivating El Nido’s Garden to Table Youth Program that we know will go on to benefit so many disadvantaged members of our L.A. community. And you never know — maybe one day a graduate of the program will end up working with us here at FE Design!