Hot Bread Kitchen: Supporting Low Income Women Living In New York City

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Hot Bread Kitchen, based in New York City’s East Harlem neighbourhood, is a basic fabric of that local community, offering the foreign-born and low-income women based here a life line by helping to create lasting economic security for these women, introducing them to job opportunities in the culinary industry. East Harlem is a vibrant informal economy centred on food, where the streets are lined with vendors, mostly women, selling tortas, churros and tamales made in their homes as a means to supplement their family income. Sadly, nearly 40 percent of all residents in East Harlem live below the poverty line; 20 percent of all households are linguistically isolated.

This innovative bakery offers two programs: job training that helps women with barriers to employment prepare for careers in the culinary industry and Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates, a food business support program. Hot Bread Kitchen provides hands-on baking training as well as classroom-based education to seed a new generation of bakers. To fund its programs, it sells a line of multi-ethnic breads inspired by the diverse group of women they serve including Persian flatbreads, Moroccan M’smen, Mexican Nixtamal Tortillas, Bangladeshi Chapati and Armenian Lavash. All the products are made without chemical preservatives, additives, flavours or colours.  The bakery sources locally grown grain and produce to make truly New York-centric bread.

Now Hot Bread Kitchen has been recognised for its great work, winning first place in JetBlue Airway’s (Nasdaq: JBLU) “BlueBud” business program. The bakery will receive mentorship, special access to JetBlue’s business leaders and the airline’s unique product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights. JetBlue is offering Hot Bread Kitchen a chance to learn what it takes to get their bakery and products into the aviation space. Guided by the airline’s mission of inspiring humanity, BlueBud was designed as a way for JetBlue to connect with diverse suppliers starting with environmentally and socially responsible food companies and start-ups that have similar responsible practices. 

This year’s JetBlue’s mentee selection will inspire economic diversity as Hot Bread Kitchen works to create ways for employment for women from diverse backgrounds. The partnership will ideally increase awareness of the bakery to help Hot Bread Kitchen prosper, which will ultimately have a direct impact benefitting immigrant and low-income women as they prepare to enter the workforce.

In essence, Hot Bread Kitchen is about family, home and the global food community, where its breads and programs help women build skills and passion in cooking to create better lives for their families. The Centre for Community Economic Development reports that nearly one-third of family households headed by foreign born women live in poverty. Foreign-born women face an array of formidable barriers to fair wage employment, from lack of fluent English to professional training or education, making them one of the least economically secure populations in the States.  Hot Bread Kitchen is helping change this history for the better. 

Photo Credit: Hot Bread Kitchen