Kitchen Confidential

Milestones and More

And just like that the first quarter of 2019 has come to an end, Bracken’s Kitchen celebrated its six year anniversary and we had to turn the AC on in the offices this past week. Six years . . .wow! It seems like just yesterday that I had Betsy parked in my driveway at home, powered by our home’s electricity, preparing all of our meals in her cramped little kitchen space. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that the older I get the faster time passes by. Of course, we all know that’s not the case, but it sure seems like it!

As we look back at the past three months, run our reports, and send that information off to the various organizations that support us, we can’t help but to stop and take stock of all that has happened. While I will never take credit for all that we have accomplished over the past couple of years it is something that I hope each and every person that supports our cause can and will be proud of. We’ve always known that we are in the right place at the right time as the focus and attention to food waste in America grows. I still find it astounding that up to 40% of our nation’s food supply ends up in the landfill while 1 in 8 American’s struggle to put a meal on their table. That’s 12.5% of our population.

That simple fact makes our growth all that much more rewarding. To put our progress in perspective, in 2017 we prepared just under 80,000 hot, tasty and nutritious meals for those in need in and around Orange County. In the first 3 months of this year we recovered 99,098 pounds of food and prepared and sent out 99,964 hot, tasty and nutritious meals. Our goal for 2019 was originally 300,000 meals, but because of our progress made in the first quarter, we have increased that goal to 350,000. This represents remarkable progress that we could not accomplish with out a large network of wonderful and amazing people.

While I would love to thank each and every one of you in this letter that’s just not possible. But please know that the entire team of Bracken’s Kitchen, both staff and volunteers are eternally grateful for everyone involved in our mission. I have always said that Bracken’s Kitchen has done more for me than anyone we have ever served and that still holds true. I have been forever changed by the people I have met here, both the people we serve and the people who come to serve. It is just not possible to put into words how very soul cleansing this entire journey has been. While 25 years of working in the luxury hotel world has left me with memories to last a lifetime, there is just no comparing it to what I have experienced over the past 6 years. I truly hope that those of you reading this can experience this for yourselves.

As we look forward to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, whether you share my faith or not, I urge you to take a moment to stop and love the people around you. Be it a kind word or gesture to a co-worker or a full-on deep dive into volunteering, the world is a much better place when we focus on what binds us together instead the things that divide us. The binding force of Love.

Thank you so very much,


Bill Bracken

Founder/Culinary Director

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