Life’s Kitchen, founded in 2003 by Rory Farrow, is a 16-week culinary arts and life skills training program. The program is tailored to help young adults who are at-risk and give them the life skills they need to be successful young adults.
Farrow is a local restaurant owner. She saw dozens of teens and young adults go through her kitchens who didn’t have a lot of experience with things like finding
apartments and opening checking accounts.
Farrow decided that there was a definite need to create an organization to provide that kind of training to young adults who were at-risk.
“We take young adults between the ages of 16 and 20 who are considered at-risk for some reason or another. Things like poverty and homelessness, brushes with the criminal justice system, mental health or any young adult that has significant barriers to success,” said Jeremy Maxand, executive director of Life’s Kitchen.
While going through the program, trainees partake in the 16-week program using Life’s Kitchen’s three businesses. Throughout the day they receive life skills instruction on things like personal finance, transportation, health and employability.
“At the end of it all, we want to make sure they have a sense of purpose and direction, confidence, resilience and self efficacy. We want to give them these basic ingredients to be a successful young adult,” Maxand said.
Life’s Kitchen works closely with Boise State in a number of different departments. Many of these give opportunities for internship credit through Boise State. Maxand is an adjunct faculty member with Boise State. He teaches sociology on top of his Life’s Kitchen duties.
“We have advisory committee members who are faculty at the university in the business department. Our interns come from a variety of different departments,”Maxand said. “Right now we have an internship lining up work with us on a business development of a retail food product.”
Life’s Kitchen offers meals for a low price. The menu changes weekly. Anything from street tacos, Italian to traditional American cuisine is served up.
“We have a catering business that has a pretty wide variety of different appetizers and main courses,” Maxand said.
Life’s Kitchen employees also serve up school lunches to North Star Charter School and provide meals to University Faith Sanctuary.