What’s good: Formerly incarcerated hired to help those in need

American Hero

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A company called ChiFresh Kitchen in Chicago is double-dipping when it comes to doing good, hiring formerly incarcerated workers to provide food to those in need. The company is a co-op that makes hundreds of meals a day for schools and social service centers throughout the city.

Camille Kerr, Sarah Statdfeld and Kimberly Britt joined “Morning in America” to talk about their project, which has grown far beyond its original scope and continues to find both new employees and new customers.

Kerr said, “Worker co-operatives are kind of my thing, the idea that we shouldn’t be so hierarchical, where we have one person who has all the glory when we’re all doing the work. Instead, with us all doing the work we should all get the credit, we should all get the credits, we should all be treated equally because we’re all contributing.”

Statdfeld said hiring formerly incarcerated workers is important because it gives them a chance to make a good decision after the bad one that landed them behind bars. “Our past doesn’t define us. We’re able to do good things,” she said. She also said they could, by example, encourage other formerly incarcerated women to do good things.

On the kitchen’s growth from turning out 50 meals a week to more than 2,000, Britt said, “That means everything to me. That means progress. If I had to put it into one word, that means growth.” She said they have a target of going nationwide and being “as big as we possibly can.”

Britt credited the company’s chef, Edwina Bryant, with coming up with the recipes that make their meals so appealing and are the secret to their success.

The women said their goal for 2022 is to continue providing job opportunities for women getting out of jail while continuing to expand their business and cook more meals for more customers. The two goals work together, and the women behind them have boundless drive and determination to make them reality.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022