Photo Courtesy of L.A. Kitchen. Robert Egger is the Founder of L.A. Kitchen.
The L.A. Kitchen is teaming up with the Los Angeles Chargers football team and The Summit Series to serve 30,000 meals across the city of Los Angeles (L.A.), California in the first iteration of a new initiative called “The One Table Pledge.” Created and coordinated by The Summit Series (also known simply as Summit), the pledge plans to match each of the 30,000 meals served by Summit at an event called SummitLA17 with one meal served to a local community in need.
The organizers of the pledge hope that more events, conferences, and trade shows will join them in 2018 in “offsetting” the calories consumed at conferences in this way.
The L.A. Chargers made a significant donation, alongside their Owner and Board Chairman, Dean Spanos, to hunger relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey. They also partnered with food banks in L.A. to coordinate a food donation drive to support hurricane victims. Now, they are turning their focus to their own community and seeking to make a difference closer to home.
“We are excited to support the insightful conversations and meaningful actions created by L.A. Kitchen and Summit,” said Spanos. “This initiative aligns perfectly with our own effort to effect positive change in underserved and underrepresented areas of Los Angeles.”
Cari Levison, Lead Content Producer at Summit, echoed the sentiment. “This event marks the beginning of many meaningful relationships between the Summit community and the incredible organizations who serve downtown Los Angeles,” said Levison. “Our mission is to be respectful guests to this vibrant city and leave it better than we found it by working with the organizations who are already doing important work on the front lines,” she said.
SummitLA17 gathered 3,500 leaders from across disciplines in Los Angeles, California from November 3 through 6, 2017. This year’s speakers included Jeff Bezos, Christiana Figueres, Shonda Rhimes, Reed Hastings, and Malcolm Gladwell, alongside more than 100 others.
Robert Egger the founder of L.A. Kitchen, has been working for decades to redefine what it means to feed communities in need. He also founded the DC Central Kitchen, where donated food is used to in a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program, and CForward, an advocacy organization that promoted the economic role that nonprofits play in every community.
“We’ve been anxious to kick up the number of meals we distribute throughout Los Angeles, so this opportunity comes at a really strategic moment,” said Egger. “This will allow us to roar into 2018 with a big purpose and a bold new partnership.”
Moreover, he explained, “the [L.A.] Chargers didn’t want this to be a one-off. In fact, what appealed to them were some of the ideas we shared about building capacity for ongoing work and about investing in technologies that we think are essential if we are preparing to feed more people better food for less money.” Egger described a plan by which the partnership will invest in alternative meat technologies. “That way, we are aligning our model with the economic imperative of moving briskly away from meat at the center of the plate, and towards “cosmetic proteins,” he said.
In 2018, the L.A. Kitchen team plans to double their monthly output to 15,000 healthy meals, invest in menu alternatives, partner further with medical school students at the University of Southern California to develop “food as medicine” menu options, introduce a new business line that will purchase foods grown at local school-based gardens, and launch a new phase of its Super Senior Sites initiative.