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Cooking for a Cause

How Community Kitchen is cultivating bright futures and culinary success.

While our unique differences might separate us, food is one of the best ways to bring everyone together again. Community Leadership Academy proves this with its Community Kitchen Program. By providing free culinary programs to disadvantaged groups and migrants, CKP nurtures positive human connection and offers its students real-life experience in the food industry. The CKP program is actively feeding communities and futures. According to the Community Leadership Academy’s official website, the CKP has, “a steadfast commitment to providing meals to various underserved populations, including the homeless, senior citizens, refugees, youth programs, first responders, and our esteemed veterans.”.  On May 21, CKP celebrated the grand opening of their new café inside Scott Clark Toyota located on Marrie Garris Rd in Matthews, NC.  The idea for this expansionary project was initiated by Robel Mamo, the founder and CEO of Community Leadership Academy, and made possible by the dealership’s Director of Community Engagement, Rod Goodall. The event was filled with laughter, hugs, and optimistic faces with the shared knowledge of the positive impact the café would have on the program’s mission. The Community Kitchen Café is more than just a workplace eatery; it’s a classroom, a charity, and a community. When customers and staff buy from the café, they are also helping to fund and ensure the longevity of the CKP. The chefs and servers, all affiliated with the CKP, can practice workplace development skills and earn their certifications. According to the CKP’s mission statement, “During their [10-week] course, our dedicated students have the invaluable opportunity to observe and learn from experienced professionals, immersing themselves in the art of food safety, preparation, hands-on cooking, and presentation.”