LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Chef Space is getting some financial support from the LG&E and KU Foundation to boost its efforts of increasing food access for west Louisville residents.
The kitchen incubator recently received grant funding from the foundation, which supports initiatives that improve quality of life in communities where the utility company operates. The LG&E and KU Foundation would not disclose how much the grant is, but the director of Chef Space, Tom Murro, said “it’s a good sum of money” that will make a tremendous impact.
“The impact will be great,” Murro said. “Some of these things, it's operational things that we're going to do anyway. And sometimes, we even take it as a loss. So to have an outside group kind of recognize what we're doing and offer operational support, it just feels good. It feels like we're making an impact that's somewhat resounding in the community."
Chef Space is located in the Russell neighborhood and has a commercial kitchen and equipment available to food entrepreneurs. The group also helps the startup hopefuls tackle small business ownership with educational classes, one-on-one business consulting and in-house lending through the SBA.
Murro said the kitchen incubator saw a massive decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic from its membership base. But Chef Space did everything possible to help its members through, like floating members’ rent for the last six or seven months.
So the grant from the foundation brings some welcome relief. In a press release, Chef Space said it is all part of the "collaborative effort to expand fresh food access to West Louisville residents whose lack of food access has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic."
The funding will boost Chef Space’s free food drives for industry workers and the community. And it’s going to support the entrepreneurial training and education classes.
“Our classes are coming back," Murro said. "So March 17, we’re going to launch the next series of entrepreneurship classes, and we’re really excited for that because last year we had to cancel those completely."
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