Philly Food News

Philly Cooks for Philly Proposes Central Commissary Kitchen for Public Meal Programs

A coalition of economic development and workforce organizations announced the findings of an impact study for a planned central kitchen that will produce meals for public programs.

Proposed Philly Cooks for Philly warehouse.

Philly Cooks for Philly, the organization behind the study, proposes the construction and staffing of a large central commissary kitchen in Philadelphia. The kitchen will produce up to 20 million meals per year for schools, childcare programs, and other publicly funded meal programs operating in Philadelphia. The kitchen will focus its hiring e orts on Philadelphia residents who struggle to find long-term employment with family sustaining wages by providing on-the-job training and career development opportunities.

Philly Cooks for Philly formed in response to the lack of competition for public contracts for meals at schools, afterschool programs, and summer camps. Meals are currently made out-of-state and shipped to Philadelphia, compromising quality, bloating the environmental footprint, and exporting millions of taxpayer dollars out of our region.

Philly Cooks for Philly engaged MFR Consultants, a Black-owned, woman-owned Philadelphia consultancy, to produce a feasibility study and impact assessment of the proposed kitchen and workforce center. The study was funded by Philadelphia Works, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, and the Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation.

The study found that the proposed facility would produce:

  • 425 jobs to support the central kitchen
  • $127.4 million in annual output from operations
  • 260 full time employees for the facility construction
  • $48.4 million output from facility construction
  • $1.26 million in wage/tax revenue

Philly Cooks for Philly is co-founded by Molly Riordan, Eastern Regional Program Manager, of Health Care Without Harm, and Bob Reusche, who retired from US Foods last year.

Learn more on the Philly Cooks for Philly website.

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