EMERIL LAGASSE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO SUPPORT EDUCATION AND ESTABLISH A CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM AT NOCCAPosted by: Jeff Hinson
$325,000 Dedicated to Culinary Training, Education and Schoolyard Gardens
NEW ORLEANS, LA (September 29, 2008) – Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) today announced $325,000 in grants to be awarded to nonprofit programs in the New Orleans area, bringing the Foundation’s total contributions to Gulf Coast organizations to over $2.3 million. The Foundation extends its partnership with the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) to establish the city’s first comprehensive 4-year professional training program in culinary arts for high school students. Other grants will provide New Orleans youth with nutrition, gardening, and food studies, as well as culinary and life skills development.
Following the success of two summer pilot sessions held in 2007 and 2008, NOCCA is adding a four-year culinary arts program to its specialized curriculum. As a founding partner in this collaborative effort, Chef Emeril Lagasse and his foundation affirm their commitment to this ambitious project, through a lead gift in the amount of $225,000 to help launch and develop the curriculum, in partnership with Lagasse’s alma mater Johnson & Wales University.
“The Emeril Lagasse Foundation is proud to support excellent and innovative programs in our New Orleans community. These organizations continue to raise awareness of how essential fresh and nutritious foods are to our lives and our culture, and through these grants, Chef Emeril brings his passion for food and education to our city’s young people,” says Kristin Shannon, Executive Director.
For the third year, the Foundation continues its investment to the social enterprise and hospitality training program at Covenant House / Covenant Café, with an annual grant of over $20,000. This program improves economic and education prospects by teaching hands-on restaurant skills and job readiness training. Many interns have successfully achieved permanent employment, or continue to pursue education in the New Orleans hospitality market.
With a special interest in educating youth on healthful food choices, food origins, nutrition and the importance of eating fresh local produce and farm products, the foundation commits $25,000 to Parkway Partners to fund the installation of three new schoolyard gardens and education programs at James Weldon Johnson Charter, Lusher Middle/High Charter, and James M. Singleton Charter in Central City. This grant will also support the installation of fruit trees and orchards at Andrew Wilson Charter and Ben Franklin Elementary Math & Science. Additionally, a grant to Good Shepherd School will continue to fund the Graduate Support Program, which guides 7th grade students through the admissions and placement process at excellent area high schools.
This funding is made possible from dollars raised at the foundation’s annual event Carnivale du Vin. Since its inception in 2005, Carnivale du Vin has been ranked by Wine Spectator as one of the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Auctions,” raising nearly $6 million total. The fourth annual event will be held on November 15, 2008 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.carnivaleduvin.com.