Milestones and More
And just like that the first quarter of 2019 has come to an end, Bracken’s Kitchen celebrated its six year anniversary and we had to turn the AC on in the offices this past week. Six years . . .wow! It seems like just yesterday that I had Betsy parked in my driveway at home, powered by our home’s electricity, preparing all of our meals in her cramped little kitchen space. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that the older I get the faster time passes by. Of course, we all know that’s not the case, but it sure seems like it! 
As we look back at the past three months, run our reports, and send that information off to the various organizations that support us, we can’t help but to stop and take stock of all that has happened. While I will never take credit for all that we have accomplished over the past couple of years it is something that I hope each and every person that supports our cause can and will be proud of. We’ve always known that we are in the right place at the right time as the focus and attention to food waste in America grows. I still find it astounding that up to 40% of our nation’s food supply ends up in the landfill while 1 in 8 American’s struggle to put a meal on their table. That’s 12.5% of our population. 
That simple fact makes our growth all that much more rewarding. To put our progress in perspective, in 2017 we prepared just under 80,000 hot, tasty and nutritious meals for those in need in and around Orange County. In the first 3 months of this year we recovered 99,098 pounds of food and prepared and sent out 99,964 hot, tasty and nutritious meals. Our goal for 2019 was originally 300,000 meals, but because of our progress made in the first quarter, we have increased that goal to 350,000. This represents remarkable progress that we could not accomplish with out a large network of wonderful and amazing people. 
While I would love to thank each and every one of you in this letter that’s just not possible. But please know that the entire team of Bracken’s Kitchen, both staff and volunteers are eternally grateful for everyone involved in our mission. I have always said that Bracken’s Kitchen has done more for me than anyone we have ever served and that still holds true. I have been forever changed by the people I have met here, both the people we serve and the people who come to serve. It is just not possible to put into words how very soul cleansing this entire journey has been. While 25 years of working in the luxury hotel world has left me with memories to last a lifetime, there is just no comparing it to what I have experienced over the past 6 years. I truly hope that those of you reading this can experience this for yourselves. 
As we look forward to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, whether you share my faith or not, I urge you to take a moment to stop and love the people around you. Be it a kind word or gesture to a co-worker or a full-on deep dive into volunteering, the world is a much better place when we focus on what binds us together instead the things that divide us. The binding force of Love.
Thank you so very much,

Bill Bracken
Founder/Culinary Director

We’re honored to be a Community Partner in the 20 th  Annual Newport Beach Film Festival’ s Culinary Series. 

Chef Bill Bracken will be speaking at the Sunday, April 28 screening of Tyler Florence’s “Uncrushable” at 5:45 p.m. at The Triangle in Costa Mesa. The synopsis of the film: 
“Late in the evening on October 8th, 2017, a series of wildfires ignited Northern California's beloved wine country. Hear the story of the fires through the eyes of those most affected in the area. Victims who lost homes or businesses, first responders, chefs and winemakers share their harrowing accounts, as a fallen community begins to rebuild through the amazing help of its neighbors, chefs and friends.” 

TICKETS are available HERE!!!
Triangle Theatre 7 is at 1870 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa.

The Newport Beach Film Festival will showcase more than 350 films from 50 countries and host nightly special events, red carpet galas, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlight events and seminars. The Festival offers film goers unique opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside locale.
The Roosters Foundation Adopt-A-Kitchen event on Friday, March 22 was a great success! The group of 15 came out to Bracken’s Kitchen to prepare 1,000 meals, packaged into 125 meal trays for Roosters’ charity partners including Veteran Outreach and Miracles for Kids. They made delicious Chicken Vegetable Stew and Beef Lasagna with seasonal vegetables.
The Roosters Foundation facilitates and encourages lifelong friendships while performing charitable works on behalf of children in need. It consists of 100 professional men, with diverse backgrounds, from the greater Orange County area of Southern California. Each year, they raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for disadvantaged children. In 2018, the Roosters celebrated 41 years of activity in philanthropy and outstanding community service.

It was a great honor to have Caterina Richards be among many women who were recognized for “Women of the Year” Award in the 46th District.

A special shout out to Jon Giberson of The Roosters Foundation and Field Representative of Congressman Lou Correa, Janet Brown, who nominated her for her dedicated work at Bracken's Kitchen.
Caterina feels so blessed and grateful for the support of her team and friends at Bracken’s: Chef Bill, Chef Jerry, Anneke, Tristan, Steve and Stacy Dickler, Douglas Schonfeld, George and Lani Sevelle, Sylvia and Greg Christian, and Carol Lowry.

The Westminster Girl Scout Troop 2708 built us a beautiful and bountiful herb garden for their Silver and Bronze Award! It not only looks beautiful, but it also serves a greater cause . . . to help us to provide healthy, delicious and nutritious meals to those in need. Fresh organic herbs right at our kitchen will do just that! 

On Friday, March 8, we were honored to have kitchen assistance from Sentric. Not only do they have great kitchen skills, this expert Human Resource Company is made up of people who intuitively see their personal success connected to those around them. The results are two-fold – a client-centered company and a culture that retains great talent.

We’re thankful that the Givebackers came out to feed those that we serve. This group of 55+ are committed to give back to the community. The Givebackers have participated many times with Bracken’s Kitchen and provided us some of our current regular volunteers today.
Celebrated Chef Jerry's and Ethan's birthdays at the kitchen!

Also more birthday shout outs to Greer Wylder, our social media guru and Bryan Stone, our amazing volunteer photographer!!

Happy Birthday!!!!
Brian Stone (Photographer)
Want to start volunteering ? Come to our kitchen and help us cook!
We currently need volunteers for kitchen preparation as we are putting out more food and meals per month than ever before. A brief description of the shifts available and details are available through the SIGN UP link.