“We don’t have to hope it happens. We have to make it happen.”
Robert Egger is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which recovers fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care and older men and women returning from incarceration. He is also the CEO of Strong Food, L.A. Kitchen’s social enterprise business, which employs graduates of the L.A. Kitchen training program, and competes for food service contracts to serve healthy meals to seniors in Los Angeles.
Robert pioneered this model during his 24 year tenure as the president of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen (which is a $11 million a year, self-sustaining, social enterprise) has produced over 30 million meals and helped 1,500 men and women gain full time employment. The Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as the Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates similar recycling/meal programs in over 45 colleges or high school based kitchens.
In addition, Robert founded or led numerous efforts (including The Nonprofit Congress and and CForward) to rally employees of nonprofits to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community, and to support candidates who have detailed plans to strengthen the economy that includes nonprofits.