Empowering Dreams, Fueling Success Through Good Food

You’re Helping Community Kitchen Build
New Lives

Chris had a rough start in life, losing his mother and young siblings when he was just 15 years old in the Jonestown massacre. He became withdrawn, unsociable, and struggled with addiction that eventually landed him in jail for more than thirty years.

More than anything, Chris wanted a second chance. Upon his release, he applied to St. Mary’s Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program and was accepted in more ways than one. Chris says it was the first time in his life someone saw something special in him. The Community Kitchen recruiter told Chris he was indeed worth a second chance, “I felt loved,” he recalls.

Describing the environment at Community Kitchen, Chris shares, “They all want to see you succeed. They believe in every single person. Even when you make a mistake in the kitchen, the staff shows you again and again until you get it because they want to see you succeed.”

To someone trying to turn their life around, Chris advises that it’s never too late: “It’s not when you do it — it’s that you do it.” Chris wants to be a chef one day, but he also has dreams of being a mentor, working with kids or people who are also in need of a second chance.

Through the Community Kitchen program and the gifts of friends like you, he has the opportunity to do both. Thank you!