BUILDING A BETTER MODEL
Because No Child Should Go To Bed Hungry in America

Meals Served
1,237,398

Rescued Food
402,934 lbs (201 tons)

Volunteer Hours
2320 hours since May

Every major metropolitan community in America has 3 things in common as it pertains to our work. Yes, hunger, food waste and poverty can be found in every county in our great country. It is our belief that there is a very symbiotic relationship between them all.

We’ve all heard the analogy; Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but if you teach him to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. Well, we believe very strongly in that and that’s why we’re working so very hard to reimagine and relaunch our culinary training program.

You see, it’s just common sense to us that we use the success of our rescued food program to provide the necessary food items for our culinary training program. And unlike most culinary schools out there it also makes sense that we use the food from our culinary classrooms to feed our friends and neighbors in need. It all just works together.

Going from appx 8,000 meals a week to 8,000 meals a day was inconceivable in March of last year but then our life turned upside down and we had to respond. Over the past 18 months covid has helped get us where we wanted to be, just at a much faster pace. While we have settled in at an average of 7,600 meals a day, we know the need is still great and we’re working hard to find ways to produce even more meals. We also know we have lots of capacity for growth, even if it’s just adding a second shift of employees to prep and produce product.
product for us.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT
PROJECT ACCESS
Throughout the country, there are eighty-plus Project Access Resource Centers that provide affordable housing complexes and social services to its residences. They are the leading provider of vital on-site health, education, and employment services to families, children, and seniors living in affordable housing communities.
Prior to the pandemic Veronica Arias-Aguayo Project Access Resident Services, Regional Manager who oversees five Orange County complexes and four in the Inland Empire, met Bill Bracken at Warwick Square in Santa Ana. Bill would arrive with Betsy, the food truck, and feed all of Warwick’s residents every other week. Bracken’s also provided Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for their families and seniors.
“Bracken’s is a huge blessing to us. When the Bracken’s team shows up it’s like our family arrived. They welcome everyone with a warm smile. We are all very comfortable with them, the residents look forward to the healthy meals for their families,” said Veronica. “Our working parents had a huge sense of relief when the truck showed up with warm, delicious meals for all of our residents. They never had to worry about feeding their families. They also brought fresh produces boxes for everyone.”
When COVID hit, the residents and especially the seniors were afraid to leave their homes, afraid of getting sick, and the fear of the unknown. Veronica called Cat and Bill and they jumped in and quickly offered delicious frozen meal trays to-go that could be delivered to residents in Orange County and the Inland Empire.
“So many seniors do not have access to food, they don’t have family nearby and Bracken’s made food deliveries happen for them,” said Veronica. She regularly delivered meals to Hesperia to the senior residences.
MEET THE STAFF
From Emma. . .
From going back and forth to South Africa growing up I was able to see the impact that nonprofits had in communities and how amazing this area is. I was raised in Orange County and went on to get my degree in International Studies, focusing on nonprofit. My mom, Kelley, is part of the reason I was able to learn about Bracken’s and fall in love with the organization. She works at a nonprofit herself and I was able to tag along for a lunch meeting to observe and they just so happened to be looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. I was hired on my birthday which is one of the best presents I ever received!
 
Being Volunteer Coordinator at Bracken’s Kitchen is an amazing job that has helped me learn so much and meet so many amazing people. After a year of so much hardship and craziness it is so nice to see volunteers every day who just want to give back and be a positive force in the community. I’m so lucky to be able to be involved in the mission of BK ❤


www.BrackensKitchen.org | 714.554.1923 | Chef@brackenskitchen.com