Haley House began in 1966 as a soup kitchen with the mission of bringing dignity, friendship and healthy food to those who were marginalized in the community. Haley House is a distinctive model staffed by live-in volunteers who make a long-term commitment to the organization’s work and values. The soup kitchen continues today as Haley House has grown to include a biodynamic farm, a permanent housing program, and a bakery café. Haley House follows the core principles of honoring the worth and intrinsic goodness of every person and challenging systems of oppression and injustice in society. In this context, Haley House envisions food as a means to achieve social justice and community cohesion.
The Trefler Foundation supports Haley House’s training program, Take Back the Kitchen, which has help marginalized groups, such as recent refugees and underserved youth, gain culinary skills. Also, the Foundation helped Haley House equip its new teaching kitchen, which is used in conjunction with the Take Back the Kitchen initiative. The new kitchen provides an environment where youth and families are introduced to healthy cooking techniques, nutrition education, and healthy lifestyle programming. Classes are taught by professional chefs with an emphasis on cooking from scratch, trying new foods, and learning the personal and social impacts of one’s food choices.