CCUSA announces agencies for social enterprise accelerator program

July 13, 2017
Catholic Charities USA Logo on a purple background.

Alexandria, Va. — Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), in collaboration with FareStart’s Catalyst Kitchens program, announced that it has selected Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, Louisville, Diocese of Rochester and the Archdiocese of Washington to participate in the Food Service Social Enterprise (FSSE) Accelerator program, a year-long intensive program to help CCUSA’s member agencies begin or expand food-related social enterprises and introduce job training programs for individuals with barriers to employment. A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being.

“Working with the Catalyst Kitchens program team to help our member agencies start and grow social enterprises that help people reach self-sufficiency is a strategic priority of our Catholic Charities ministry.” said Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA.

“We respond to people’s immediate needs, but we also remain committed to preparing people to join the workforce in meaningful employment.”

This collaboration is part of a national effort by CCUSA to support its member agencies that are looking to identify innovative ways to increase access to employment and reduce poverty in the communities they serve.  The agencies were selected from a competitive application process offered to the entire CCUSA ministry. While applicants were not required to have an active social enterprise, agencies seeking to expand established food production or food-related training programs were encouraged to apply.

Participating agencies will receive more than $20,000 in technical assistance and consultation, intensive on-site and remote business and program development support, program evaluation, and facility assessment.  An organized tour of a working model program is an additional important component of this training.

About Catalyst Kitchens

Catalyst Kitchens, a national program of Seattle-based FareStart, is a collaborative network of nonprofit organizations with a shared vision to empower lives through job training, generate revenue through social enterprise, and nourish bodies and minds through quality food-service. In addition, Catalyst Kitchens provides consulting services to incubate and launch new programs around the country.

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