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"Back To Scratch" to the Big Apple


Headquartered along Howell Avenue in Bay View just north of Mitchell Airport, Sustainable Kitchens and the 'back-to-scratch' movement have been turning heads on a national scale. In just the past few months SK has connected with food service operations in San Francisco, Arizona, Washington DC, Connecticut and New York City.

Chelsea-based soup kitchen, Church of the Holy Apostles, which boasts the 2nd largest feeding operation in the country has secured SK for a project set to kick off in January of 2019.

The scope of the ambitious project includes a minimum of 40 fully-vetted recipes for an updated menu cycle and nutritional standards; all operational systems, policies, procedures and communications; an ingredient statement and local supply chain along with the SK Culinary, Leadership and Customer Service Training packages.

Program director Mike Ottley saw, within an already well-performing operation, great opportunities to bring a fresher, healthier approach to their menus. "I've been doing this a long time but I know there are knew things happening we can learn from and it's important to be able to change with the times."

The connection to Holy Apostles came through SK Vice President Dan O'Hearn who became aware of the soup kitchen through a mutual friend and was immediately reminded of Fond du Lac's own "Loaves & Fishes" which was started by his own grandmother. "I just knew we could and should be a part of this great effort in some capacity." said O'Hearn.

From there, SK CEO Justin Johnson paid a visit to the operation located in Chelsea, Manhattan where he conducted a one-day assessment of the operations. "I was amazed to see the dignity and pride with which this forgotten and marginalized segment of human beings was served by over forty volunteers. I was immediately inspired and knew we could do something special together."

The project will begin in 2019 with a focused effort on culinary training, as well as fresh, new recipes designed to combat malnutrition and highlight fresh ingredients sourced from upstate New York.

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