Emma's Torch in Patch

We are so grateful to HMSHost Foundation for its generous gift. As an added bonus, this gift, our restaurant, and our mission were covered by Patch.

The Emma’s Torch culinary training program is truly a blessing for many.

Emma's Torch Might Expand To Airport Restaurants With $30K Gift

A nonprofit that runs restaurants at JFK and LaGuardia donated $30,000 to the Carroll Gardens-based culinary training program for refugees.

By Anna Quinn, Patch Staff | Jan 25, 2019 10:25 am ET | Updated Jan 25, 2019 12:16 pm ET

CARROLL GARDENS, BROOKLYN — Local nonprofit Emma's Torch, which provides culinary training to refugees and survivors of human trafficking, has had quite the year.

The Carroll Gardens-based organization is set to run the Brooklyn Library concession starting next month, was named a "Brooklyn Hero" by the borough president and now, with a $30,000 donation, might be making its way into the travel industry.

Emma's Torch accepted the donation at its graduation from HMSHost Foundation, a nonprofit associated with HMSHost Corporation, the company that operates restaurants in airports and travel plazas.

"The Emma's Torch culinary training program is truly a blessing for many as an outlet for learning and career preparation and we want these talented, passionate, and hardworking people to succeed as they assimilate in America," said HMSHost Foundation President Paul Mamalian. "Emma's Torch lays the groundwork for this to happen."

Emma's Torch provides culinary training and career services to refugees, asylums and survivors of human trafficking, according to the organization. Students are paid to work eight 40-hour weeks in the full-service restaurant on Smith Street and are also given 400 hours of training, work experience and mentorship.

In the first year, 100 percent of Emma's Torch-trained job-seeking students were placed in culinary positions, according to a release. 

The nonprofit's executive director, Kerry Brodie, said HMSHost can be a partner for the organization as students begin careers in the culinary industry.

"We are so grateful for the support of HMSHost Foundation. Their gift, and their commitment to inclusion in the culinary industry sends a clear message to our students," she said.

HMSHost restaurants in New York can be found at LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and along the New York Thruway.