Society lacks resources for the less privileged or homeless youth population. Eugene, like all the other cities, has a migration of homeless teenagers who have run away from home. They live here for only a few months before moving on to California during winter. These are young adults that don’t understand how to become part of society. They can’t provide for themselves and eventually they have children and the cycle continues.
We provide at-risk youth alternative education and career assistance in Lane County. We aim to make this experience worthwhile for our clients. We do this by offering a range of curricula, which have been funded by Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, Oregon Department of Human Resources, Lane Workforce Partnership, and local school districts.
Our most recent program is a culinary art program. It teaches students how to prepare food safely and properly and allows them to then make lunches for other students at the Chambers School. After the nine-week program, students are placed with local food service businesses for 60 hours of practical training. The culinary arts program is currently available to five students each 9-week school term or 25 students per annum. Students who enroll in this program are chosen because they have a genuine interest and can attend class on time.
According to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, “[a]t the heart of the Eugene economy are the homegrown small and medium-sized businesses. Eugene’s businesses employ less than 20 people. Eugene’s small businesses are active, thriving, and well supported. They include financial service companies, management consultancies, specialty retail shops, and ethnic groceries. Including sole proprietorships and limited partnerships, there are more than 10,000 businesses in and around Eugene.” Eugene/Springfield’s population has grown 3.95% on average since 1998 and this new growth has meant new businesses and expanding opportunities for catering companies who can serve these businesses’ needs.
Catering For Kids predicts that Eugene/Springfield businesses are experiencing unmet demand for catering services for lunch meetings and other events. Contrary to other food-related businesses and restaurants, business to company catering is not as seasonal as business to customer catering. Businesses continue to have lunch meetings and employees who wish to purchase their lunches year round. In order to gain some insight into the market size and demand, we undertook some limited market research. A survey was sent out to 144 Lane County non-profit organizations. It asked for their current and future needs in catering services as well as their interest in supporting a nonprofit catering company. Many of these responses were received.
I think this is an excellent idea and could be a useful resource for the community. Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity is not known for hosting many lunchtime meetings. However, there are about 13 to 14 Habitat Executive Directors that meet about every three month. Susan Brown, Volunteer Coordinator, Eugene/Springfield Habitat for Humanity
“…if we do have an event that we need catering we will call your program first. We prefer to use non-profit organizations for services first.
Our catering requirements are not great, only a few times per calendar year. You can contact me to discuss the program. My son attends Chambers School and I would welcome hearing more details.” – Mark West, Lane County Agricultural Museum
“We do have General Membership Meetings where we require a venue for 50 to 100 people. Although I’m not involved in the planning of the meetings, I know that our organization needs a place where food or beer can be served. You might hear from Dave. I think the first meeting is in October.
Many caterers offer business clients boxed lunches. Many of these caterers do not offer boxed lunches for business clients. Catering For Kids will work hard to establish strong relationships with all its nonprofit clients.
We believe that this unique position, combined with competitively priced, fresh, high-quality meals will set Catering For Kids apart as the premier caterer for the Lane County nonprofit sector.
Catering For Kids provides opportunities for at-risk youth to gain work experience and transferable skill by offering our customers healthy, homemade food and exceptional service at affordable prices. Catering For Kids employees will be Chambers School and Career Center students who are interested in working in the restaurant and food service industry. These students will gain valuable experience that will aid them in transitioning from school to work. They will also be able develop entrepreneurial skills that they can use in their future jobs.
The benchmark chart below indicates the financial indicators that we used in the first three years. We expect a slow, steady increase in our services’ demand and an associated rise in operating expenses. Catering For Kids in the first year will focus on catering for its internal market. As year two approaches, Catering For Kids will start to serve the external market.
Financial Highlights Year-by-Year
Grant funding is one of our revenue streams, $15,000 per year. We expect to receive $2,000 per year in donations.