An (even) kinder kitchen

Photography by Dan Ahn and Janet Kim

Over and over again this year, like many of you, we’ve asked ourselves, “How can we help?”

“It’s been a tough year on a lot of levels, but one of the positive things we’ve seen is how communities have stepped up to help one another in times of need,”  shares our co-founder, Eunice. When Covid-19 forced at-risk groups to shelter-in-place, or when police brutality sparked nationwide protests, organizations across the country sprung into action to support their communities. We, at Material, thought about how we could best support them. The first step? Unpacking the systemic issues being confronted, and connecting with these organizations that were actively working to rebuild the system. We then reflected on what we as a company have access to – our voice, our products, and most importantly, our community.

Enter Kinder Kitchens.

We launched Kinder Kitchens last year as an antidote to the holiday sales frenzy. This year, we want to expand what Kinder Kitchens is all about. Yes, we will still raise funds for two organizations (starting Nov. 23) through a discount-and-donation campaign. Leading up to that holiday week, however, we’re opening our platform to the individuals and organizations that are using the kitchen as a vehicle for change. Why? Because it’s more than just the donation that counts. It’s about encouraging one another to fight for a more equitable table, and lifting up those who are hurting through cooking. Because when we make our kitchens a kinder space, everyone benefits. And after the year we’ve all endured, we could all use a glimmer of hope.

A little more about this year’s two organizations from our co-founder, Eunice:

Heart of Dinner

“This organization hits close to home because everyone on our team comes from an immigrant family. The Asian-American community was hit hard on two fronts: Covid-19 and xenophobia, which created more fear and isolation in an already challenging time. Heart of Dinner, led by Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai, delivers food to elderly Chinatown residents who have had to shelter-in-place since the pandemic started. Their work speaks to the very nature of cooking, which is about nourishing one another, breaking bread, and caring for each other - three things we need more of, especially now.”

Drive Change

“We learned about Drive Change through Sicily Sewell Johnson and Mavis-Jay Sanders. They are both chefs and the founders of Food+People. Both Sicily and Mavis-Jay believe that access to high quality food is a human right. They’re also the nucleus of their community - involved in many things, and helping so many people, all centered around their belief that food can change communities and provide opportunities. Mavis-Jay is the culinary director of Drive Change, a fellowship  program that equips formerly incarcerated youth with professional cooking skills and pairs them with jobs in hospitality. Food+People and Drive Change truly show by example how food and cooking can be used as a force for good.”

So, we invite you to join us as we recognize the kind kitchens of Heart of Dinner and Drive Change.

Follow along on our Instagram and site to hear from these two organizations and their founders, as well as some of those directly involved in both programs. Come back starting 11/23 when our once-a-year-sale begins and consider donating a portion of your discount. Let’s remind the internet what the holidays are all about.

Kinder Kitchens

When cooking brings change.

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