When Edith immigrated to the U.S. in 2015, she didn’t speak any English. It was hard to find opportunities to learn, she said, given the limited spots and long waitlists at ESL classes around the city. Always a self-starter and eager to return to a career where she could help people, Edith decided to enroll in college classes anyway. She worked part-time to support herself, but it became clear she needed full-time work to pay for school. It was around then, through a chance encounter with a stranger, that Edith found out about Hot Bread Kitchen.
“I’m the kind of person who always wants to learn new things,” she told us. “That was the first thing for me when I found Hot Bread Kitchen. I saw that they were working with immigrants and I thought, ‘They are helping ladies like me.’”
Edith completed Hot Bread Kitchen’s culinary training program in 2018 and was quickly offered a job at a bakery. The bakery was over an hour from her home in the Bronx, though, and she’d need to be there at 5:00 AM. “I reached out to Hot Bread Kitchen and told them it would be difficult for me to take this job while I was still in school. They didn’t make a big thing about it, they understood me and what I needed. Hot Bread Kitchen said, ‘Don’t worry, we are going to find something else for you.’ And they did.”
Stories like Edith’s are why Hot Bread Kitchen exists, but supporters like you are how. It is because of your generosity that we have been able to answer the call of our communities through unforeseen crises and in times of hope and growth. Your support enables us to invest in breadwinners. Consider donating to Hot Bread Kitchen and supporting women like Edith as they pursue economic opportunity.
With Hot Bread Kitchen’s support, Edith got a culinary job, where she worked for two years until the pandemic forced New York City into lockdown. When we rolled out our new facility management training program last year, Edith was enrolled in a social work master’s program and volunteering as a team lead at a local food pantry, but she was intrigued. She signed up for the program, thinking it could potentially help her in her career.
“When I finished training with Hot Bread Kitchen, they sent me a ton of jobs to apply for. The job I have now, I didn’t have all the experience they wanted, but after completing the facility management program I thought, let me just see. Why can’t I apply for something anyway? So I applied. I got multiple offers. I had a lot of options.”
This fall, Edith started a new role as a receptionist, where she is making 18% more annually than she was in her last role.
“I feel proud of myself. I’m learning new things. I’m growing. It’s good to feel like you’re growing.”
Hot Bread Kitchen is meeting breadwinners wherever they are and providing them with the resources, skills, and support they need to get wherever they want to go. We are expanding our services to include customized support for entrepreneurs and new workforce training courses; bridge programming such as English language immersion, digital literacy, and professional readiness; and individualized financial coaching and peer support groups for all of our members.