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New Funding Plan Pays Laid-Off LA Kitchen Workers to Make Meals For Those in Need

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The Power of 10 initiative started in D.C., and now is heading for Los Angeles

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A young Olympic skater with her parents at their Japanese restaurant.
Mirai Nagasu with her parents at Sushi Kiyosuzu
Mirai Nagasu
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

An enterprising new initiative started out of Washington, D.C. is coming to supply Los Angeles with restaurant jobs and free meals for those in need. The plan, called the Power of 10, is a crowdfunding effort put forth by Erik Bruner-Yang, an East Coast chef and restaurateur. It aims to use donations starting at $10 to hire up local out-of-work kitchen talent who will then send meals to a local non-profit or directly to the community.

As the Power of 10 name implies, the initiative works an exponential scale. One $10 donation is the “advertised cost of food and labor to cover one meal,” says Eater D.C. of the plan, which started last month, and from there it scales up to more hires and more meals. Bruner-Yang and his partners use every $10,000 benchmark in funding to hire 10 chefs for a week and to buy ingredients that make 1,000 meals. That makes for an hourly wage of $14.50 per worker, and a food cost of $4.20 per meal.

The good news is that Bruner-Yang and the Power of 10 team has already raised $75,000, which they are using to begin cooking in Los Angeles. First up is the reopening of Sushi Kiyosuzu in Arcadia, the family restaurant of Olympic skater Mirai Nagasu. Reps for Nagasu and Bruner-Yang say that Sushi Kiyosuzu should be up and running by next week, with plans to feed locals and frontline workers in need.

It’s unclear what other restaurants may benefit from the Power of 10 in Los Angeles next, but Bruner-Yang would like to continue in Southern California if possible. Those who wish to donate one or more $10 meals can do so at the Power of 10 Initiative directly.

Sushi Kiyosuzu

921 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 (626) 445-4756