Steve Kidron, owner of Kitchen24, is feeding even more of Toronto.
And now, he wants to not only feed, but teach. You see, Kidron knows what it is like to be hungry. As we have reported in the past, Kidron is a person who has been unsure of where the next meal is coming from. When he first came to the big city, he came to it with very little and sustained himself on the food he could find.
After growing his own skills within the food industry, he runs a successful business that he is now using to feed others.
“It took me 11 months to put it together, close to four years ago,” Kidron said of Kitchen24 in 2020. “My background was in food. I was buying from major companies in North America and selling products to mom-and-pop shops basically. So, when one of my mom-and-pop shops came to me and asked if they could use my facility to do some catering out of, because they didn’t have a space of their own, I saw an opportunity.”
Being in the food industry Kidron knew there were several businesses and services that could use their own space but didn’t have the capital in place to acquire or maintain it.
And so, he created Kitchen24.
Kitchen24 is a 35,000 sq ft commercial kitchen with the capacity to cook more than 10,000 meals per day. It is operated by true lovers of food, and that passion has led to a space where like-minded culinary entrepreneurs can turn their dreams into reality.
More than just a rental space for those who may want to do anything from run a cooking class to putting together a product for their catering service, Kitchen24 is a food and cooking space for anyone in the food industry who needs a facility to operate within.
“We can have an unlimited number of companies and people working at the same time,” Kidron said.
As COVID-19 became a reality, he felt compelled to act. Kidron began funding meals daily to ensure that no one gets left behind or suffers from hunger. In 2020, he serviced more than 40 community organizations and provided more than 100,000 meals to those in need.
“There are many vulnerable residents throughout Toronto and surrounding areas that have lost access to social services and basic necessities due to COVID-19,” he said. “Kitchen24 wants to be part of the solution by using our space, volunteers and resources to bring food to those who need it most.”
Since quarantine began, they began making 500 to 700 cooked meals daily and donating them to nursing homes and shelters. And it hasn’t stopped there.
Recently, Kidron cooked and packaged 5000 meals for the community with volunteer help from 13th division, and the 31st division, as well as NDP MPP Tom Rakocevic and a representative from Anthony Perruzza’s office. “I’m very proud of how they are helping the community, helping with the meals and delivering the way they did.”
“These meals are intended to go to community centres, shelters, Second Harvest, tent city.”
Kidron is now moving on to a new project with the 13th Division and 31st Division and various fire departments and EMS volunteers this Christmas. Together they will prepare and deliver 15,000 more meals.
Kidron sources donations and some surplus from companies for his work but said this year he is mainly funding it himself. He did want to specifically credit Upper Crust, and Second Harvest president Lori Nikkel for their help, however.
And Kidron is always developing new ways to help. He said he intends to develop a youth program to teach culinary skills. He envisions an eight to 16 wee course to get youth ready for the work force but needs help to sponsor that program.
“There are many (youth) in difficulty that can’t afford traditional schooling, and I hope to teach them the skills to get into the workforce,” Kidron said.
To date, Kidron and Kitchen24 have prepared and delivered 300,000 meals for the needy since the beginning of the pandemic in March, 2020.
If you know someone who requires support or would like to donate time to make meals at Kitchen24, you can access the intake forms here: www.sites.google.com/view/kitchen24intake
For daily updates, follow them on Instagram
Kitchen 24 is located at 100 Marmora St #200, North York, ON, M9M 2X5
You can find them online at: www.kitchen24.ca