Create Common Good has used food to change lives for 10 years
by Bea Black
Please join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of our good friends and invaluable partners at Create Common Good (CCG), a Boise-based nonprofit social enterprise that uses food to change lives and build healthy communities.
CCG offers foodservice skills training and job placement services to individuals with barriers to employment as they work to gain new skills and achieve self-sufficiency. Since 2008, CCG has helped more than 700 trainees — including refugees, women escaping domestic violence, and those overcoming addiction — create “better futures made from scratch.”
The Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA), which provides safety, healing and freedom from domestic abuse and sexual assault, has been involved with CCG since 2013. Our partnership makes a significant difference in this community and in the lives of many of the women the WCA serves.
The professionalism of CCG’s staff is striking, yet it is the heart and sense of family they bring to their work which is transformative and exactly what our clients need to thrive. We’ve even had CCG staff members ask about and receive trauma-informed care training, and not every job-placement program understands that.
To date we’ve referred 45 clients to CCG, and its cocooning, confidence-building effects have empowered 70 percent to uncover their working potential by graduating and finding jobs that pay living wages and often have benefits.
In addition to utilizing its large commercial kitchen to offer volume food production to partners like Jacksons, the Paradies Shops at the Boise Airport, Parrilla Grill, Pepe’s Sauces and Zeppole, CCG operates a community-feeding nutritious snack program. Subsidized by St. Luke’s and United Way, the program gets fresh, nutrient-dense foods into the mouths of hungry kids via partners like WCA, Frank Church High School, Girls on the Run Treasure Valley and Family Advocates. CCG trainees manage this program, which means the WCA clients we place there are giving back to the community while feeding their own children healthy food. There is a great deal of dignity in that.
To learn more about this wonderful organization, please visit CreateCommonGood.org or join us at their 10th-anniversary open house Sept. 13 from 4-7 p.m. A couple of food trucks from their partners and graduates will be set up in the parking lot while local bluegrass talent Conner Jay Liess will play from 5-7 p.m. There will be games for the kids, tours of the kitchen, and several CCG alums will share their stories.
It’s a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, learn about CCG’s mission and plans for the future, plus enjoy some of the wonderful food its trainees prepare. You might even become inspired to help our community use food to change even more lives.
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