College of Liberal Arts Multi Site > The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History > Uncategorized > A Dispatch from What Is Your Food Worth: A Community Kitchen for Philadelphia

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A Dispatch from What Is Your Food Worth: A Community Kitchen for Philadelphia

“There are very few times we can be more intimate as to share food together.”* -Maya Angelou

When my father tells stories, he almost always includes what he ate and where he was when he ate it. I don’t always remember what I ate and where I was, but almost all my positive and pivotal memories and moments include sharing food with other people. When there are so many things that divide us from our community food is the common denominator that brings us together. We all have to eat and we’re all hungry for meaning and community.

And then there are so many organizations, businesses and individuals that are working to provide food and education to people that want and need it. And yet there is still a strong need for food access, as well as a stronger and healthier local economy. There are many opportunities to work together, and there are many ways to make food a vehicle for service. When I walked into Impact Hub Philly, I found a place where this could happen.

Impact Hub is, first and foremost, deeply rooted in “place”.  Each Impact Hub is a local community of members connected by the shared goal of using business and entrepreneurship as a tool to drive positive change.  By providing a physical space for work, collaboration, convening, events, classes and workshops, each Impact Hub location builds a unique culture and network of values-aligned professional members at the local level.  As a global platform, the Impact Hub Association provides members with access to contacts, mentorship, global market insights and collaborative opportunities that accelerate their success.

The Impact Hub Community Kitchen that we are building sets the table for innovators, entrepreneurs, and activists with a buffet of opportunities to improve the way Philadelphia eats and connects around food. I am currently fundraising to develop, curate and launch the first such kitchen in Philadelphia that will simultaneously engage leading food justice organizations in Philadelphia, and also provide an incubator for early stage food entrepreneurs to test and refine their products for market, thereby strengthening our local economy.

Our Beer Week Event on June 5th ( there are still tickets! ), is in celebration of the people and organizations in Philadelphia that use food as their vehicle for creating positive social change and stronger communities in our city. Judy Wicks, the nationally-renowned food system thought leader, will be our keynote speaker, and we will be highlighting our partner organizations, such as St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, The Food Trust, Hazon, and The Vetri Foundation, to name just a few. We’ll be recognizing Garrett Getlin Snider, young philanthropist, activist and one of the most watched and listened to young adults in Philadelphia, and enjoying a farm to table feast and listening to sweet live music from a local Jazz Quartet, Belleville. All proceeds will benefit the Impact Hub Community Kitchen.

In this case, there are never too many cooks in the kitchen and we need support getting this kitchen off the ground so we can continue to change the way Philadelphians eat and connect around food. Check out our recent press, learn more here, and I hope to see you at the table soon!

-Laurel Klein

A transplant from Austin, Texas, Klein earned her MSW at University of Texas, Austin and a degree in Jewish Non-Profit Management from Hebrew Union College.  She lives in Philadelphia with her partner Eli Freedman, a rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Shalom.

*Quote from http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132080094/maya-angelous-cooking-advice-ignore-the-rules