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Our Contribution

How we do it

1. Training:

We create job opportunities by offering comprehensive bilingual (Spanish/English) culinary training to the unemployed members of our community, in partnership with agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Our unique bilingual training initiative gives opportunities to the Hispanic population that otherwise may be excluded due to language barriers. We build a sense of community by offering the unemployed the necessary skills and knowledge to overcome poverty by obtaining a better-paying job within the food service industry. Learn more about our training program.

2. Nutrition:

We fight hunger by providing meals with higher nutritional value to the homeless, shelters, nonprofits, and low-income families. These meals are prepared by the participants of our culinary training programs, giving them the opportunity to practice their new skills in a commercial setting while helping the community.

Our food assistance program goes far beyond just feeding the needy by offering nutritious meals including fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition will improve the health of this at-risk population by preventing and reducing obesity and its consequences, like diabetes. Learn more about our training program.

3. Awareness:

We are reducing food waste and creating awareness of the importance of healthier eating by implementing environmentally friendly, sustainable food programs with local farmers and area restaurants. This allows us to offer healthier alternatives to low-income families living in “food desert” neighborhoods, and also help farms reduce food waste and commercialize their products, which otherwise can’t be sold in the general market due to aesthetic demands, transportation cost, and other limitations.

Our sustainable approach supports local agriculture, improves healthy food access, combats obesity, empowers social enterprise, and helps build a healthier future for low-income families coming from different cultures and backgrounds. Learn more about our training program.

How we know

We envision programs that can prove replicability, scalability, sustainability, and originality.

To support our evidence-based concept, we are developing a prospective impact evaluation analysis to measure our results in order to evaluate:

  • sustainability
  • resource allocation
  • program design, and
  • cost-effectiveness.

Our Theory of Change describes how our intervention aims to deliver the desired results, through the construction of a results chain where inputs, outputs, and final outcomes follow a sequence and create pathways through which impacts are achieved.

Volunteer interns from international development programs are working on the roadmap for the implementation of our Impact Evaluation Analysis.

Why we are different

  • We accelerate the process by which immigrant workers obtain higher-skilled, better-paying jobs and improve their English skills
  • We work in areas where others don’t, targeting unemployed individuals from minority groups to train them with bilingual culinary skills, which will create job opportunities and generate a sustainable source of income for them and their families
  • We empower the unemployed to be agents of social and economic change:
  • By becoming part of programs that help the needy by providing nutritious meals and creating a sense of community
  • By creating awareness within the community about the importance of healthier lifestyles
  • By functioning as a business incubator, creating opportunities for small business development in the food service industry

Are we proposing sound programs?

Yes, we have identified the development challenge that immigrants with low English proficiency face when trying to access job training programs mostly offered in English.

We tailor the content of our training to what the food service industry requires, offering employers a workforce of employees with comprehensive culinary knowledge, life and employment skills, and vocational English.

We support our graduates in the process of obtaining jobs.

Our Impact

  • Create job opportunities for the unemployed individuals from minority groups
  • Equip immigrants with language and vocational skills that enable them to get better-paying jobs
  • Empower unemployed people to be agents of social and economic change
  • Fight obesity and malnutrition by offering healthy meals prepared by our students to low-income families and people in need in our community
  • Connect farmers to “food desert” neighborhoods

Why should you and your organization get involved?

Because your support has the power to change lives; we couldn’t do it without you.

How can your organization help?

Invest in smart solutions by:


By making a tax-deductible donation to La Cocina VA, you can:

  • Create job opportunities for unemployed members of our community
  • Facilitate access to healthier meals for our neighbors in need