“It’s not just the hog farm–we’re all feeding each other, man!”*

Interesting concept: First Slice describes itself as a “self-funding charity,” a subscription catering business whose paying customers are also subsidizing catered meals for poor people.  Query whether a business delivering  gourmet meals to homes three times a week will be able to thrive in an economic downturn, but we salute the mix of ideas driving the project: training poor people in food preparation and employing them in the catering kitchen; bringing together beneficiary-clients and subscribers as co-volunteers in meal preparation; and soliciting contributions while also assuring a stream of earned income.

Of course, anything about food appeals to the Nonprofiteer.  Maybe First Slice will take on her pet idea of “Half a Loaf,” a benefit event offering tiny portions to attendees so restaurants can offer meals to those who need them.

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*Woodstock emcee, August 1969

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4 Responses to ““It’s not just the hog farm–we’re all feeding each other, man!”*”

  1. Scott Says:

    This is a little off the edge thinking these employees will stay the course. I tried this in construction and they will be hard to manage.

    My hat is off to First Slice and I hope and pray they find a way. It’s hard to imagine catering to the uppercrust to feed the poor. Kind of sounds like Robin Hood except the rich are not getting richer this year.

    Well I guess that is why we call this stuff nonprofit.

  2. Morgan Pulleyblank Says:

    Kelly,

    Another truly stunning example of the “self-funding charity” concept is Recycle-a-Bicycle in New York City. They receive donated clunker bikes and work with teens to teach them how to do all manner of bike repair. The students get a valuable skill, a bike, a thorough inculcation into environmental issues in New York City, and a reason to keep off the streets. Hipsters get their “vintage” bikes for a lot cheaper than Craig’s List.

    More info is at http://www.recycleabicycle.org.

    And thank you for the work you do every day on this blog – it’s one of the few that I nearly always feel like I get something out of.

  3. Nonprofiteer Says:

    Not clear to me what’s “off the edge” about running a job-training program in food preparation: the ultra-mainstream Hospitality Business Institute has done things like this for years. There are certainly challenges in working with people who are holding down their first jobs, but I’d argue that’s the case whether the first-timers are recent college graduates always on the lookout for something better or unskilled workers highly motivated by what a paycheck will provide for their families.

    Your doubts about the viability of the economic model, though, I share: people who are feeling shaky about their disposable income tend to cut back on luxuries, and catered meals are in that category. But the social entrepreneurship movement may actually have created a category of consumers who will continue to consume as long as they imagine they’re benefiting others as well as themselves; in which case First Slice is first in line to get the goodies!

  4. Nonprofiteer Says:

    Morgan, thanks for drawing our attention to another agency trying to combine self-generated funding with employment training and positive social outcomes. May they all thrive!

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