Before becoming executive director, Kelly Hofferth was a board member of Cultivate Culinary School & Catering (Cultivate). After a visit to Catalyst Kitchens in Seattle, a social enterprise that works to break the cycle of joblessness and hunger, she came back inspired and ready to take Cultivate to the next level. When Hofferth learned that Cultivate was looking for an executive director, she jumped at the opportunity.
“What we really wanted in an executive director was someone with deep ties to the community, first and foremost,” explains Jim Conklin, treasurer of Cultivate. “We were also looking for someone with teaching experience to build relationships with partners in the community.”
Hofferth has lived in South Bend for more than 25 years. A graduate of the ACE program at Notre Dame, she taught middle school math and science for five years. She then worked at Press Ganey as a patient advocate and most recently worked at Notre Dame in development and at the Morris Inn.
“I am so thrilled to lead this innovative organization here in South Bend,” Hofferth says. “It is estimated that Americans throw away 40% of their food, and 20% of families in Indiana are food insecure. Clearly there is a need for what we do at Cultivate in bridging the gap between food waste and food insecurity. I am excited to be on the Cultivate team and to support those in need in our community.”
Cultivate hopes to increase its impact in the community through its adult and youth education programs, developing community partnerships to support food rescue and delivering food to those in need. With fresh vision and perspective from the new executive director, Cultivate anticipates more sustainable growth and service within the community.
To learn more about the mission of Cultivate Culinary School and how you can get involved, visit https://www.cultivateculinary.com or call 574-440-2214.