Awarding Local Non-Profits
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has awarded almost $200,000 in grants to various local non-profit organizations that support its mission to inspire, mentor, and help youth be able to reach their full potential.
Emeril Lagasse said in a press release that the foundation helps to "support programs that provide mentorship to the most vulnerable youth in our communities. We help them to achieve life skills necessary to gain and sustain employment." He emphasized that "[t]eaching through food is at the core of what we do."
Community Grants were awarded to four local entities based on shared missions. These entities focus on lifting up youth through culinary, nutrition, and arts education—with a focus on developing their life skills. The four organizations chosen are the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF), New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), Reconcile New Orleans (RNO), and Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).
Additionally, the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund (ASIF), a program of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, will assist four Latino youth to receive a culinary education in New Orleans through the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship. This scholarship will allow them to gain hands-on industry experience in an effort to diversify future kitchen leadership. The Aarón Sánchez Scholarship is the signature educational program of ASIF.
Community Grant Beneficiaries
Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is a nonprofit organization that helps students in high school become future leaders in the culinary industry. Their program, ProStart, is available in 51 schools across the state and has over 1,700 students. They focus on education, workforce development, and promoting career opportunities.
New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) is a nonprofit in New Orleans that educates people from all backgrounds in the hospitality industry. They offer various programs for professional growth, continuing education, and culinary enthusiasts. Their goal is to provide access to career pathways and support the development of the culinary arts and hospitality industry.
Reconcile New Orleans (RNO) is a program that helps at-risk youth in New Orleans. For the past 15 years, RNO has empowered over 1,500 students to create better futures for themselves. The program was created to address the issue of out-of-school youth and help impoverished communities. RNO supports young adults by promoting personal growth, providing workforce development, and equipping them with education and tools to reach their potential.
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is all about helping young people in New Orleans. They offer various programs like mentoring, employment readiness, and enrichment activities to help them develop skills and build connections with their community. One of their programs, YEP Enriches, is specifically for young people between the ages of 7 and 18 in the Central City and New Orleans East neighborhoods. They have an afterschool program and summer camp that offer a wide range of activities like a drum line, dance, basketball, arts and music instruction, tutoring, and homework assistance.