BOISE, Idaho — The coronavirus has created financial problems for many Idaho businesses.
But espite the economic crisis, Life’s Kitchen, a Boise-based nonprofit, is doing everything they can to stick to their mission statement.
“Our mission is serving youth 16 to 20 years old in workforce development,” said Tammy Johnson, Life’s Kitchen executive director. “We have a training program that is 100% free to our youth. They can earn their full GED while they’re working here at Life’s Kitchen.”
Life’s Kitchen currently has the kids in their programs working safely from home.
“Our program director is contacting them a couple times a week,” Johnson said. “They’re working on GED, they’re working on serve-safe Idaho food handlers, so we’re keeping them engaged until we can have them back in the facility.”
The non-profit is currently serving about 2,000 meals a week.
“We have served Interfaith Sanctuary dinners Monday through Friday for years,” Johnson said. “But we’ve expanded on that, also providing them lunches.”
Johnson said that Life’s Kitchen funds its programs through its full-service catering business, which is currently being strained by the coronavirus.
Life’s Kitchen usually serves three schools a year, but their services were brought to a halt once Idaho schools began closing. The café is also closed.
“That business is about 48% of what supports our program,” she said. “Within 90 days we need to be up and running so we can continue running our programs.”
Johnson said she misses the young students in the kitchen.
“I miss them coming in and saying good morning and telling us how their day has gone,” she said. “They are the core of who we are, that’s who we serve.”
Despite current hardships, Life’s Kitchen is still looking forward to opening their new facility where they will be able to provide their services to more than 100 at-risk kids and young adults. To learn more about their programs, or to donate, click here.
At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.
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