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Chef Space awarded $50K from James Graham Brown Foundation to feed 1,000 families in need

West Louisville will get an additional boost in the ongoing effort to increase fresh food access for families in need. Chef Space will be supporting an increase in production of fresh meals, thanks to a $50,000 award from the James Graham Brown Foundation.

The award will support an increase in capacity for Chef Space, allowing the food incubator and commercial kitchen to expand its partnership with other community organizations to prepare meals to feed an additional 1,000 families each month.

The award also includes funding for Chef Space to provide 1,000 hours of business training, kitchen training, and technical assistance for food entrepreneurs, with the goal of developing more food businesses in West Louisville.

Chef Space maintains ongoing relationships with various community groups that focus on combatting child hunger in the community as well as groups that host regular food drives for children and families. Chef Space plans to increase its storage capacity to store more food products for these organizations, while also giving them free access to its commercial kitchen space for food preparation.

Chef Space has participated in similar programs with groups hosting food drives, including two drives in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organized by Chef Space, along with two of its members – Fuel Meal Prep and Hot Buns Food Truck, and an additional Louisville food business, The Celtic Pig. In one weekend, the organizations prepared meals for 250 families. With this award, Chef Space plans to ramp up these types of events in order to serve at least 1,000 additional families each month.

While Chef Space continues to have a long-term impact on the local food economy through its efforts to develop new food businesses in Louisville, the organization sees a greater need in impacting residents now, because of the impact of the pandemic.

“Since our doors opened in 2015, we’ve worked to improve access to fresh, healthy food options in the West End,” the organization said in a statement. “This area is part of a federally-designated food desert, with a need for more groceries, markets, and restaurants serving fresh meals, hot and cold. The pandemic has only exacerbated the food insecurity challenges that already existed in this community. With the help of James Graham Brown Foundation, we can expand the food resources we offer to West Louisville right now, having an immediate impact on those most affected by this crisis.”

Operating since 2015, Chef Space is Louisville’s first kitchen incubator. The 13,000 square foot facility serves as a business home for many food entrepreneurs in need of greater space and more suitable amenities to grow and establish their business.

Chef Space offers multiple food preparation and processing stations, access to capital, storage space, and training opportunities for its members. The kitchen incubator is a shared, licensed commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs including caterers, food truck operators, bakers and value-added producers, many of whom come to Chef Space in hopes of growing their business and one day graduating into their own storefront, food truck, or landing their products on the shelves of local grocers.

James Graham Brown has been a longtime supporter of Chef Space, and has played a significant role in the organization’s initial development. In 2015, the foundation shared in the vision for Chef Space, and demonstrated their commitment to this project by providing financial support towards the capital expenses for the renovation to the building at 1812 W. Muhammad Ali. Since that time, JGBF has remained a supporter and a resource for Chef Space.

Additional information on Chef Space is available at www.chefspace.org. For more information about Chef Space and the James Graham Brown Foundation Award, please contact Jonah Brown, President of Marketing, by phone at (859) 544-3918 or by email at jbrown@cvky.org.

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