Volunteers brave the sun to cool the city

March 8, 2012 │ New York

On International Women's Day, employees volunteer with food-focused social enterprise promoting opportunities for women and minorities.

Employees commemorated the 101st International Women's Day by volunteering with Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK), a nonprofit organization promoting opportunities for women and minorities in the baking and culinary industries through Project Launch, a workforce development program, and HKB Incubates, a business development program.

Employees from all three area offices participated in the project, which was held at HBK’s facility in East Harlem’s La Marqueta marketplace. The volunteers worked with participants in the HBK Incubates program, which supports the growth of start-up food entrepreneurs with an emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses and a priority on recruiting applicants from the local Harlem community. The program provides affordable commercial kitchen space and business development support through a combination of business coaching, in areas such as marketing and financial preparedness, and culinary consulting, in areas such as recipe development and adjusting to production in a commercial kitchen space.

The entrepreneurs in the incubator program represent a range of delicious products as well as experiences, skills and business plans and goals. The Deutsche volunteers met three active food entrepreneurs and helped with different aspects of their businesses. For Taste of Ethiopia, they packaged pre-cooked food for distribution to grocery stores. The owner of Ana Del Campo practiced a demonstration and explanation of her seasoning product. For Luane's Cookies, the volunteers served as a focus group, taste-tasting and giving consumer feedback on possible products for a new gluten-free cookie line. They also helped to fold and stamp HBK Incubates brochures for upcoming community outreach presentations.

This event was a new type of group project developed to support the HBK Incubates program, and the businesses appreciated the volunteers’ assistance. As program director Sandra Vu explained, "simple tasks such as packaging food help busy food business owners tremendously; and on a more personal level, it also gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their story and receive direct feedback about their businesses."

Volunteer Rika Olson from Americas Regional Management commented that the event “was a unique experience as it wasn’t just about helping people.  It was about helping people who themselves were trying to make a difference. I was inspired by their passion and enthusiasm for wanting to bring their culture and expertise into the culinary world.” 

International Women's Day is a United Nations commemorated event that recognizes the social, political and economic achievements of women. This was the second year that Deutsche Bank's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity teams across the regions have partnered to coordinate activities for employees to engage with women's causes. Through the Women on Wall Street (WOWS) network, New York employees have focused their efforts on volunteering in the local community.

For more information about Hot Bread Kitchen, please visit www.hotbreadkitchen.org.

Two Deutsche Bank volunteers help package food for Taste of Ethiopia. enlarge

Two Deutsche Bank volunteers help package food for Taste of Ethiopia.

Two Deutsche Bank volunteers help package food for Taste of Ethiopia.

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Last Update: November 21, 2012
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