Last March, Irena Stein converted her Venezuelan restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina into a part-time relief kitchen to feed families in need throughout the Baltimore community. To staff up, she partnered with Mera Kitchen Collective, a nonprofit that creates jobs for refugee and immigrant women. The community meals initiative has now become a full-time part of her business with its own name: Alkimiah.
Alma Cocina Latina has moved into a larger space where the restaurant, Mera Kitchen Collective and Alkimiah can all function under one roof. They turn out 370 meals a day, and have fed over 103,000 people. The program has received city grants, private donations and funding from World Central Kitchen and hopes to sign catering contracts in the coming months, said Stein. “We work miracles on a very limited budget.”