The Los Angeles Chargers Help Rethink How To Feed The Hungry

Leading the charge to feed communities in need.

Robert Egger and his L.A. Kitchen are redefining how to feed communities in need.

This weekend, he’s getting more than a little help from his friends at the Los Angeles Chargers, who will be underwriting a new initiative to serve 30,000 meals to people in need at the Summit LA17, the flagship ideas festival in downtown Los Angeles. Egger hopes to spark a movement and inspire other conferences to do the same during the next year as part of the “One Table Pledge.”

“People are hungry. We have the opportunity to mobilize a community of 4,000 leaders at LA17 to help alleviate some of the suffering in the world,” says Michael Hebb, senior advisor and creative producer at Summit.

Hebb says the idea for the One Table Pledge was inspired by early conversations with Egger. “It became clear that with the right partner (thank you, Los Angeles Chargers) we could match meal for meal, attendee meal to L.A. Kitchen delivered meal, to someone in need,” he says.

Then Hebb thought about using the partnership to lead the charge in the conference world to catalyze change: recruit dozens, if not hundreds, of other conferences to do the same and feed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in each city that hosts a conference.

As thought leaders from around the world gather at Summit LA17, the goal is to collectively inspire every event, conference, and trade show to join them in taking the One Table Pledge in 2018, to match every meal consumed with feeding an underserved community in need. Summit hopes to have 3 million meals served to those in need by the time they reconvene in Los Angeles next year.

Disco Chop as part of Feedback's Feeding the 5000 campaign in May 2017. Photo by Joseph Nakhost/courtesy of LA Kitchen.

Dean Spanos, owner and chairman of the Los Angeles Chargers, will be on-hand along with offensive tackle Russell Okung to help serve meals throughout the weekend. Eager to think differently about community engagement as the Los Angeles Chargers put down roots in a new city, they’ve created a “Fight for LA” platform to support efforts like the One Table Pledge and other important community-building efforts, such as the L.A. Marathon or fitness clinics in Inglewood.

“We are excited to support the insightful conversations and meaningful actions created by L.A. Kitchen and Summit,” said Spanos, in a statement. “This initiative aligns perfectly with our own effort to effect positive change in underserved and underrepresented areas of Los Angeles.”

Egger is at the forefront of doing just that. He pioneered the model of L.A. Kitchen — a culinary organization that rescues cosmetically imperfect food for a training program — during his 24-year tenure as the president of the DC Central Kitchen, to create the country’s first “community kitchen.” Food is donated by hospitality businesses and farms and used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job-training program called Empower L.A.

Since its inception in 1988, Egger’s “community kitchen” concept has produced more than 40 million meals and employed 1,500 men and women. The affiliated for-profit social business Strong Food then hires program graduates, prioritizes serving healthy meals to seniors, and reinvests profits into the training program. His goal is to leave no person hungry and no food wasted.

He’s hoping that, with the Chargers’ help, the program’s numbers can grow exponentially. While the L.A. Kitchen currently serves a few thousand meals each month, he’d like to see that number grow to 15,000 a month in 2018.

“Los Angeles sets the record for these perceived negatives,” Egger says of the number of people in need, “but these men and women can be part of the solution.”

Disco Chop as part of Feedback's Feeding the 5000 campaign in May 2017. Photo by Joseph Nakhost/courtesy of LA Kitchen.

Throughout the 14-week training program, students participate in a variety of culinary training, self-empowerment programs, and local internships. Dynamic lessons from executive chef instructors provide hands-on experience, and nutritionists and social workers help with life skills and professional development.

What makes it particularly special is that youth who have aged out of the foster care system, along with adults who have been incarcerated, homeless, or otherwise in need of work, are able to participate in the program alongside one another, bridging a generational gap, Egger says. Upon graduation, students are able to find placements in internships or jobs in restaurants or businesses around the city or with L.A. Kitchen’s Strong Food arm.

But what does the future hold for feeding those in need — especially as the number of people needing help grows each year? It starts with rethinking sustainable nutrition.

“We have access to a number of beautiful fruits and vegetables, and alternate proteins, that have evolved into incredibly sophisticated products where you can’t tell the difference,” Egger explains. “To serve more meals on a consistent basis, we need to move away from the idea of a four-compartment plate with meat at the center.”

With enough voltage, Egger hopes his disruptive ideas will catch on.

“Food is not just gas for the body,” he says. “There’s power in eating something nutritious. And we can use it to stimulate the economy, and we can use it to create social change.”


"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

Keep Reading Show less

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less