Need & Solution


Need: Combatting Violence

We strive to reduce Bay Area violence by giving young adults the skills they need to land a sustainable job in the restaurant industry and stay off the streets. In this way, young adults will not need to resort to a street culture of  violence and illicit activity to make ends meet.

  • Children from poor families have a much greater chance of becoming involved in violent crime than children from better-off families. In fact, children of poor families are more likely to become violent criminals than even children who are abused or neglected. (The Surgeon General’s report)
  • Gun violence is higher than motor vehicle accidents as a leading killer of young people in the United States and was second only to drug overdose. Americans Youth on Fire
  • The correlation between poverty and violence is so strong that Oakland and San Francisco are investing significant tax dollars in resolving the high rates of unemployment and poverty that plague the city’s youth. Even with the government initiatives like SF’s MYEEP to solve these issues, there is still an egregious need for access to opportunity for youth facing barriers including poverty and cultural differences. 
  • African Americans between the ages of 15 and 29 are 18 times more likely than their white peers to be the victim of a gun homicide. Young African American women are six times more likely than young white women to be the victim of a gun homicide. (Strong Nation)

Need: Addressing Poverty

Poverty not only disenfranchises entire populations, but it leads to violence and crime. ​There is an egregious need for job training among youth in underserved communities, especially young women and youth of color. ​Sprouts Chef Training Program tackles this problem​ by teaching young adults experiencing poverty the professional and soft skills needed to achieve financial autonomy by securing a culinary job with competitive wages.

  • 170,000+ Bay Area youth live in poverty. 
  • 20%+ of Bay Area youth struggle to stay in school. 
  • Tens of thousands more face hardship such as gang violence, homelessness, abuse, high school dropout, crime, and drugs.
  • Poverty and lack of educational and employment options have been proven to cause violence and crime (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Strong Nation)
  • Females of color making 60 cents to every white man’s dollar (Census Bureau).
  • 53% of African American males and 45% of Asian males in Oakland were unemployed – OFCY Demographic Report, OFCY 2020.

Solution: Job Training

The Chef Training (CT) Program helps reduce Bay Area violence and poverty by equipping youth to rise from hardship through culinary training and job placement.

 Success Metrics

Hardship Addressed



Drug Use 44%


Domestic Violence



Criminal Activity 34%


​”We work directly with wraparound program and professional chefs to provide each intern with tools to excel professionally and ultimately break the cycle of poverty and violence.” – Kate Rogers, Founder of Sprouts Chef Training

Long-term change to reduce poverty is only possible with a multi-layered solution that provides each individual candidate not only with vocational training, but a support network within the community, job placement assistance, life skills training, and personalized, one-on-one mentorship both during and post-internship (2017 Oakland Unite Independent Evaluator). 

Employment training programs, complemented with life support resources, are more effective at leading individuals to success. (Mathematica Policy Research, 2017). 



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1 Mandalay Place Unit 1503
South San Francisco 94080

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