Who We Are
Bracken’s Kitchen is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Orange County California. Founded in 2013 our mission is simple: Through food recovery, culinary training and our community feeding program we are committed to recovering, re-purposing and restoring both food and lives.
The heart of who we are can be found in a statement first uttered in 1957 by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
At the core of our mission is a deep commitment to our nonprofit charity partners, business and professional supporters, volunteers, donors and employees. Our relationship with each and every one of these groups is as important to us as those we feed.
With their help we are committed to serving over 200,000 hot, tasty and nutritious meals in 2018.
In its simplest form, Bracken’s Kitchen delivers hot and nutritious meals in a fun, and dignified manner. The program strives to serve the highest quality and most nutritious meals that many of their clients will get all week.
In doing so they are not only nourishing the body but the soul as well. Bill has been known to take a break from his prep to play with the kids and engage on a personal level. He has definitely earned his nickname of Uncle Bill. Why you ask, “Because feeding people is not the same as nourishing them”, as Bill often states.
Dignity, respect, and pride are three areas that the program is intent on preserving for those served. The lives of the under-served in our community are challenging enough.
Bracken’s team feels that providing services to this population should and can be done in a dignified manner. Utilizing the power and popularity of the Food Truck, the Kitchen provides meals in a manner that echoes a fun, upbeat environment. Tables and chairs to sit at, music playing and a robust and varied menu from a clean and attractive truck are just a few of the elements that are used to deliver meals with dignity. Offering a hand up and not a handout is one of the bigger goals.
Food is the first and most basic of human needs for survival and as a result, it is a very powerful force in a person’s life. Bracken’s team has learned that serving a high quality and tasty meal gives their customers hope for a brighter tomorrow and better future. The children look forward to meals with anticipation on the day each week that the big red truck will pull up to serve them.
The Kitchen’s “Food Truck Feeding program” is in full swing and operating with the hard work and efforts of Betsy, the kitchen’s first food truck, pictured above. There are many organizations providing a variety of food options for the less fortunate but Bracken feels that his program goes further than the rest. “We have gone way beyond the typical food pantry box of pasta, rice, beans and tomato sauce”, says Bracken, “On a deeper level we are dishing up hope one plate at a time”.
Bracken has leveraged his relationships in the business to build a model that can provide a complete well-balanced dinner spending less than $0.35 for the food to prepare it. A typical meal may be Roasted Pork Loin with Charred Tomatoes and Bell Peppers, Brown Rice Pilaf, Sauteed Seasonal Vegetables, Southwestern Caesar Salad and Fresh Fruit.
In order to have the greatest impact with the least effort on their part Bracken’s Kitchen has chosen to partner with select nonprofit organizations including the Salvation Army, Working Wardrobes, and Miracles for Kids to establish regular feeding events.
Through these collaborative efforts, the Kitchen can directly reach those people most in need of a healthy meal. This has also eliminated the steps that the Kitchen might otherwise need to take to qualify a person’s need.