From all of us at Life’s Kitchen, thank you for supporting Sherman’s Birthday Bash! Everyone who attended the event or made a donation contributed to an incredibly successful night filled with good food, good music, and good company. Your support is felt and appreciated by all at Life’s Kitchen. And of course, a huge shout out to Sherman for continuing to dedicate his time and passion to Life’s Kitchen year after year.
We are proud to announce our partnership with AMEN Adventist Medical Evangelism Network. AMEN will be at Expo Idaho April 18th-20th offering a FREE CLINIC. The 3 day community centered event will offer dental, general medical, vision, preventative, and educational services. They hope to serve up to 1,200-15,000 uninsured, under-insured, and low income people in the Treasure Valley.
for more information on AMEN Boise click here
Planned services offered:
- eye glasses
- blood sugar checks for diabetes
- illness diagnosis and minor treatments
- wellness exams
- blood pressure screening
- health promotion and education
other services offered:
chiropractic, massage and physical therapy, lifestyle counseling, pastor counseling, hair cuts, healthy living/nutrition education
Want to volunteer?
AMEN needs medical, dental, vision, and general volunteers. click here for more information.
Record numbers reported for family shelter, The Idaho Foodbank and Life’s Kitchen team up to help
BOISE, ID – The City of Boise’s Pioneer Neighborhood Community Shelter saw record numbers of adults and youth in January. The center recorded 440 adults and 490 youth visits during the month compared to 363 adults and 295 youth last year. January saw temperatures as low as six degrees and an average in the mid-twenties. The winter weather significantly impacts homeless families with children as they often struggle to find shelter and a hot meal. Over the past few years, however, the City of Boise and two local nonprofits have teamed up to share resources and meet this important need.
To help families with children stay out of the cold weather, the City of Boise operates a day shelter from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily until April 1 at the Pioneer Neighborhood Community Shelter, 500 S. Ash St.
However, the shelter only meets a portion of the families’ needs, says Paul Schoenfelder, shelter manager.
“We found that if the adults didn’t have access to food, they would inevitably take their kids out into the cold in search of a meal, which defeated the purpose.”
To keep families fed with hot, nutritious food, the City of Boise has once again partnered with The Idaho Foodbank and Life’s Kitchen to provide meals at the center. Meals can include soups, casseroles, or a bit fancier dishes depending on the donation. Meals are usually served around 11:30 a.m.
“The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides reimbursement for the cost of feeding children under 18 in emergency shelters, like Pioneer,” said Jackie Yarbrough, Program Director at The Idaho Foodbank. “The kids were covered, but we had to get a bit more creative in order to provide meals to the adults. We were able to make donated food available, but we needed someone to prepare and deliver it to Pioneer, and that’s where Life’s Kitchen was able to step in. It’s all about working together to find the solution.”
Much of the food is donated by The Idaho Foodbank. The meals are prepared by Life’s Kitchen, and those meals are served by dedicated volunteers. A local nonprofit that provides culinary arts and life skills training to at-risk young adults, Life’s Kitchen operates a commercial kitchen and three training businesses. Since it’s founding, Life’s Kitchen has provided more than 260,000 hours of job training to hundreds of young adults, and produced more than 1 million charitable or reduced cost meals.
“Our primary focus is to provide job training in the foodservice industry to at-risk young adults, and to help them achieve some independence in their lives,” said Jeremy Maxand, Executive Director of Life’s Kitchen. “As important are the tens of thousands of meals we make that help feed people in need, like families using the Pioneer day shelter, or the Interfaith Sanctuary.”
Last year an estimated 1,383 meals were served between December and March at the Pioneer Center; depending on the weather, that number could be higher this year.
“This has been the perfect example of how local government and community organizations can effectively collaborate, sharing resources and skills to meet critical community needs,” said Schoenfelder. “Partnerships at Pioneer between the City of Boise, The Idaho Foodbank, and Life’s Kitchen are what make Boise a great place to live.”
City of Boise Parks and Recreation
The Idaho Foodbank
Boise Parks & Recreation’s mission is to enhance Boise’s quality of life by working in partnership with the community to foster and support citizen well being and healthy community environments.
The Idaho Foodbank’s mission is to help feed, educate and advocate for Idaho’s hungry through collaborative partnerships to develop efficient solutions that strengthen individuals, families and communities.
Life’s Kitchen’s mission is dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk young adults by building self sufficiency and independence through comprehensive food service and life skills training, placement in the food service industry, and continuing education.
As a counselor for the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR), I have had a relationship with Life’s Kitchen for several years. Not only does Life’s Kitchen bring value to the communities of the greater Boise area, but most important is the value it brings to all of the young people who go through the program. The mission of IDVR is “Preparing individuals with disabilities for employment and community enrichment.” Life’s Kitchen is embodied in our mission.
As a VR counselor, I work under an agreement with the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections (IDJC) and county juvenile probation departments, and serve youth in the Juvenile Justice System. National studies have consistently shown that over 70% of youth who come in contact with the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health disorder, and that over 60% of youth with a mental health disorder also have a substance abuse disorder. Additionally, in 2014, 47% of all youth in the custody of the IDJC were eligible for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) due to learning disabilities. It should be of no surprise to anyone that this can be a very challenging population to work with, and that these are some of the most underserved youth in our communities.
To work effectively with these youth, you have to believe in them. You have to provide them opportunities to change, and you must welcome all youth to participate, placing no judgments upon them. You have to have patience, support, encouragement, and nurture hope. You have to allow these youth to make mistakes, and be there to pick them up when they fall down. You have to provide structure and accountability accompanied by a heavy dose of compassion and love.
This is Life’s Kitchen. This is their secret recipe.
By Chef Jaime Vink
At Asiago’s, everything is made from scratch. We use the freshest ingredients, so the demands on our kitchen are high. Each cook has to perform using a skill set that has been developed over years of culinary study and long hours in the kitchen. This is not for the faint of heart but for those of us who thrive in this environment, the world is our oyster.
Life’s Kitchen has been helping Boise’s at risk youth for over ten years teaching them the culinary arts. There is great dedication in helping these young people develop the foundation to thrive in the restaurant industry. In this they help to raise up the trainees that may not have felt they had a chance inside, or out of the kitchen.
For me, it only made sense that Asiago’s and Life’s Kitchen team up and develop an internship for the graduating students to go through on completion of the culinary program. In this internship trainees are gaining real world experience in a fine dining situation and are teamed up with experienced culinarians to coach and help them hone their skills. This is the perfect testing ground for the trainees to spread their wings and to employ the knowledge that the chef instructors have given them at Life’s Kitchen.
The trainees that have come into the internship program at this point have been displaying the kind of culinary foundation that employers in this industry search for.
The staff, board, volunteers, and donors at Life’s Kitchen should be proud of the work they do. Not only is it a great cause helping bright young people find a better path in life, but it’s a great contribution to the culinary culture in Boise. Restaurants and kitchens across the valley will have the bar raised when the Life’s Kitchen trainees of today are the chefs of tomorrow.
And the world is their oyster.