Pittsburgh Kitchen Using Food As Foundation To Change Lives

In the heart of Hazelwood, the rhythm of progress and the aroma of promise attract a very special team of budding professionals. KDKA's Kym Gable has more.

Video Transcript

- As the restaurant and hospitality industry ramps back up, it needs a workforce ready to make it thrive. And Pittsburgh's making that happen in so many ways. Kim Gable takes us to a kitchen that uses food as the foundation to change lives and strengthen communities, on a positive note.

- In the heart of Hazelwood the rhythm of progress, and the aroma of promise, attracts a very special team of budding professionals.

GARLAND RICHIE: This is CKP, that's what we call it in the abbreviated version. It's Community Kitchen of Pittsburgh.

- A nonprofit mission powered by food and fueled by a passion. Many of these students experience barriers to employment and challenges at home. Community Kitchen provides training and stability.

GARLAND RICHIE: If they have some obstacles that in the background may hinder them from giving 100% when they're in class, then we help them with those things as well. Whether it be legal, whether it be homelessness. Whether it be driving, we offer bus passes. As much as we can do.

- Chef trainer Garland Richie understands, his past mirrors many of theirs.

- I can relate to the challenges, and I have empathy. But I will not provide sympathy, OK? Because if I can do it, I know they can do it.

- And what they do here is pretty remarkable. Donor funding helps pay for the program, and the students help feed the less fortunate.

- A lot of what you do here is also giving back to the community. I mean, you're paying it forward because of what you've been given.

- Yeah down here. And it's also when the meals leave out, like these are for people that are hungry, that are less fortunate. So knowing that they're dependent on us, it makes a big difference.

- Maya makes and sells pico de gallo, others have catering businesses.

- I love collaborating.

- Right.

- I see a lot of it happening here too.

- Yes, yes. That's all we do, teamwork make the dream work.

- Today they're giving some Pittsburgh flair to a New York strip.

- What's this knife called?

- Production manager Patrick, along with Garland and the rest of the staff, focus on a common goal during this pivotal time.

- That they are ready to hit the floor running. That helps the restaurant business.

- Good job.

- And it helps the students in so many ways

DELON BASKINS: Outside of the program, I have lost friends and family. So when I come here, it's a good way to get away and be around a lot of people I love and care about.

- Outside, fish fries have given way to barbecues, another way to generate revenue.

- We're getting carp. we're getting chicken.

- Skills cultivated to shape their futures.

- It just makes me want to uplift-- I mean, lift my game because I know that I have to be an example to them. And spiritually, it just feels to me on a daily basis

- And a mission of service that feeds the soul on a positive note.

- Community Kitchen is launching its student relief fund initiative, and you can find out how to help at kdka.com. That's also where you can submit your positive stories, so if you know of anything good happening in your community, share them with us here at KDKA. Just look for the smiley face about halfway down on the home page.