Seeking Palisadian Participants

LA Kitchen Invites Locals to Host ‘Shared Plates’ Dinners Oct. 5-7

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

LA Kitchen hopes to combat two local issues: homelessness and food waste. And Palisadians—both restaurants and community members—are invited to join the fight.

Each year, the nonprofit hosts Shared Plates, a weekend of dinner parties that LA Kitchen referred to as the “anti-gala.”

“Anyone in the Palisades can host,” LA Kitchen’s Seannen Sainz shared with the Palisadian-Post. “All they have to do is to choose to become a participating host and invite friends over for dinner.”

The idea is that the host sets a ticket price and invites friends and family to join for dinner—funds raised will go to LA Kitchen and its three-part programming: Impact LA, Empower LA and Strong Food.

LA Kitchen works to train unemployed people for jobs in the food industry by taking healthy food that would otherwise be discarded and providing meals to fellow citizens.

Impact LA “ensures that food never goes to waste, and instead is used to nourish our most vulnerable communities,” the LA Kitchen website states. Every 14 weeks, Empower LA admits 22 students who were either formerly incarcerated, homeless or in foster care to receive training from LA Kitchen chefs and industry professionals to learn life skills.

The third part, Strong Food, is LA Kitchen’s social enterprise, which purchases local produce that would otherwise be discarded to craft healthy products that are then sold—all while bringing awareness to how much food goes to waste in Los Angeles (which, for those wondering, is 18 million pounds of food per day in LA alone).

“This is our third year of Shared Plates,” Robert Egger, LA Kitchen founder and CEO, explained. “We love that more and more people from across the region are hosting simple dinners in their homes to support LA Kitchen. We love that there’s no age, income or geographic barriers to our event … anybody can be a host, anyone can participate and everyone can benefit. This is food democracy.”

Last year, 100 hosts participated. “We’re hoping to double that number this year,” Sainz shared.

All hosts will receive a VIP Host Kit, which includes Shared Plates table decorations, swag and special discounts from Beyond Meat, Target, Roland Foods and others.

Palisadian restaurants are encouraged to participate by either donating a percentage of sales to the cause or by selling tickets to a Shared Plates-specific meal.

The weekend of fundraisers will take place Oct. 5 through 7.

For more information, visit sharedplates.org or lakitchen.org.