Hi, I'm Dani! Around Cheeky, I talk a big game about getting our team out and around in Los Angeles to see first-hand what hunger-relief organizations look like. I think it’s important for our team to know as much as we possibly can about the issue. Whether someone works on finance, supply chain, product development, or social media for Cheeky, everyone contributes to our mission to help end hunger in the U.S. and make mealtime matter. We can’t do that without learning about the issue, and there is no better way to learn than with hands on experience. We’re fortunate to prioritize these volunteer opportunities during our work day, no matter how crazy the week is. The best part is when we walk away feeling like we

Our stop this month was The L.A. Kitchen.  They’re a local non-profit taking on the issue with a disruptive model. Their model is stated simply on their website,

“By purchasing and reclaiming cosmetically imperfect fruits and vegetables, that would otherwise be discarded, and using them to train and create culinary jobs for unemployed men and women, we create scratch-cooked, healthy meals for the community. Through this process, L.A. Kitchen reveals the power of food to strengthen, nourish, and engage.”

Not only are they taking on the issue of hunger, they are deconstructing it and revealing how it impacts different aspects of our society.

According to a 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council Report, 40% of our food in the United States is thrown out each year. That’s crazy! Our partners at Feeding America are work on addressing and solving this issue on a national scale. What’s cool and innovative about L.A. Kitchen, is that they rescue the food from local facilities in Southern California, and then prepare fresh, healthy and nutritious meals to service low income communities facing high levels of homelessness.

To make their food, they train and hire seniors transitioning out of homelessness, formerly incarcerated folks, and adults who were raised in the foster care system, all groups who are often written off for employment opportunities.

Lead by their fearless leader, Robert Egger, the L.A. Kitchen is determined to shake-up our city and county with this innovative approach, save food, create jobs, and serve those in need. There is also a social enterprise component of their model to generate revenue to support their programs.

We were lucky enough to volunteer last Tuesday, March 4th, 2017 where we prepped over 400 fresh salads, and 100 turkey wraps for LA’s Downtown Women’s Center. The facility was clean, and efficiently run by the amazing chefs they’ve hired to run the kitchen. Our volunteer activity ended with a chat with Robert Egger, where the team was able to hear his vision first hands.

It’s days like these, that are simply the best at Cheeky. We feel connected to our cause and our mission, and learn more about this immense community of hunger fighters working to solve hunger here in the U.S. It’s also very special to hear other innovative approaches. When we started Cheeky, we wanted to give back and we were trying to figure it all out. We knew there was a high level of hunger insecurity in our country, but what could we do?

We now know we can be a megaphone for our non-profit partners, and help educate others on this issue. We hope to empower our consumers to choose Cheeky, because they too can give back!

Dani is Cheeky’s Marketing Merchandising Associate, where she focuses on PR, Events, Brand Partnerships, and Cause.  Dani joined the Cheeky team in August of 2014 with a strong desire to help end hunger one plate at a time!