Welcome to La Cocina VA

It came to us with much clarity that by using the power of food we can generate opportunities for social and economic change. That unemployment, obesity, diabetes, and food waste are problems that we can start to solve in sustainable ways by designing and implementing innovative programs to help disadvantaged members of minority groups. La Cocina VA is here to help.

We have been working on our Theory of Change while partnering with agencies, other nonprofits, and private corporations to create development programs that work.

verdurasLa Cocina VA is here to be the nexus of this critical work. Filling the gap between poverty and development. Giving individuals the tools and knowledge they need to overcome unemployment. Fighting obesity and its consequences. Complementing the efforts made in schools to teach and offer children healthier food alternatives. La Cocina VA can help complete the circle of change.

We offer unemployed individuals bilingual culinary job-training programs and education about nutrition and healthier ways to eat. We have created sustainable programs that will provide low-income families and the homeless with more nutritional alternatives, helping communities fight obesity, malnutrition, and illnesses for current and future generations.

We have gathered a group of professionals, experts in social issues and development effectiveness, as well as chefs, social workers, nutritionists, doctors, and experts in business development, all big dreamers who believe that integrating minorities in this journey will make a difference in our community. Join us.

Our Mission

The Mission of La Cocina VA is to create opportunities using food as an agent of social and economic change, through feeding, educating and empowering the minds of our community.

La Cocina VA was created to contribute to individual and community well-being. We believe in each individual’s potential to achieve success and improve their lives. We believe in transformational change that, if done properly, creates new, previously out-of-reach opportunities for communities from the ground up.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.”

- Dr. Martin Luther King



Do you want to end the cycle of poverty?


From the CEO

“The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves.”

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin – French Gastronome 1826

Unfortunately, these words from more than two centuries ago are truer than ever today. Here in the United States, 50 million people suffer from food insecurity, 40% of our food is wasted, and 68.8% of adults are overweight or obese due to the lack of access to healthy food.

Innovative approaches using food as the agent for change can solve social issues such as hunger, unemployment, environmental degradation, and debilitating diseases.

Our concept goes far beyond just offering food to the needy by also offering the necessary tools and resources to overcome poverty and create a better, healthier future for individuals, their families, and future generations.

Training the unemployed members of our community so that they have access to better-paying jobs, empowering families to eat healthier, facilitating access to fruits and vegetables, helping the needy by providing nutritional meals, and connecting farmers with consumers, is what La Cocina VA does.

Please join us to create a more mindful society, knowing that we can ALL contribute to make a difference for those in our community. Join us

The History of La Cocina VA

2012: Inspired by the efforts, resources and infrastructure that multilateral organizations in the United States invest to help solve social issues and improve lives in the developing world, Patricia founded La Cocina VA to help end unemployment, hunger, obesity and food waste in our local communities.

Empowering diversity groups and immigrants as agents of social and economic change, using food as a tool to transform lives.

2013: Professional experts in social issues and development effectiveness, chefs, social workers, nutritionist and doctors from La Cocina VA launched three programs aiming the creation of job opportunities for immigrants in the food industry, provide nutritional meals to low income families and people in need, reduce obesity in adults and children, reduce food waste and promote the consumption of food and vegetables, integrating farms and families.

Board of Directors

brian raul ken paty copy

Brian MacNair


Raul Salazar


Kenneth W. Wagner


Patricia Funegra


paul alfonso

Paul van Essche

Alfonso Berthier


Executive Staff

monica marysabel

Monica Lozano


Marysabel Taboada



Professional Advisers

traster moreno

Daniel Traster

Natalia Moreno


Chef Mentors


Chef Victor Albisu