Emeril Lagasse Foundation Announces Fall Grants Nearing $200K

NEW ORLEANS — The Emeril Lagasse Foundation said it awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that support its mission to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential.

“We support programs that provide mentorship to the most vulnerable youth in our communities. We help them to achieve life skills necessary to gain and sustain employment,” said Emeril Lagasse. “Teaching through food is at the core of what we do.”

Four local entities were awarded Community Grants based on the shared mission to support youth through culinary, nutrition, and arts education with a focus on life skills development: Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart (LRAEF), New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), Reconcile New Orleans (RNO),Youth Empowerment Project (YEP).

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Also, the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund (ASIF), a program of Emeril Lagasse Foundation, will enable four Latino youth to receive culinary education in New Orleans through the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship. The students will gain hands-on industry experience, as the program works to diversify future kitchen leadership. Established in 2016, the Aaron Sanchez Scholarship is the signature education program of ASIF.

Community Grant Beneficiaries:

Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to enhance the industry’s service to the public through education, workforce development, and promotion of career opportunities. ProStart is a culinary program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. Today, Louisiana ProStart® includes more than 1700 students at 51 schools throughout the state.

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New Orleans Culinary Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) is a nonprofit organization that educates a diverse community of learners to sustain New Orleans’ ever-evolving hospitality industry. NOCHI offers a platform for professional and personal growth– including accelerated vocational-style programs, continuing education classes, and courses for culinary enthusiasts – increasing access and minimizing barriers to career pathways while supporting the promotion and economic development of the culinary arts and hospitality industry. 

Reconcile New Orleans (RNO), a hospitality training program for at-risk youth, has enabled over 1,500 students to empower their own futures since opening its doors 15 years ago. RNO was founded to address the New Orleans crisis of out-of-school youth and the disenfranchisement of impoverished communities. Today, RNO supports young adults as they transform their lives by encouraging personal growth, providing workforce development and training, and equipping them with the education and tools to achieve their potential. 

Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) engages young people through community-based education, mentoring, employment readiness, and enrichment programming to help them develop skills and strengthen ties to family and community. YEP Enriches is an out-of-school time enrichment program for young people, ages 7 to 18, in the Central City and New Orleans East neighborhoods of New Orleans. YEP’s Afterschool Program and Summer Camp offer a range of activities, including drumline, dance team, basketball and other classes, arts and music instruction, tutoring, and homework assistance.

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