Mentions from across the pond: Emma's Torch in the Moodie Davitt Report

We’re proud of our partnership with HMSHost, and are delighted that it is getting some attention - even from news outlets in the UK. This piece from the Moodie Davitt Report details our $30,000 gift from HMSHost Foundation and tells our story.


HMSHost Foundation donates US$30,000 to charity helping refugees find restaurant work

by Oliver Thring

Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report

24 January 2019

USA. HMSHost Foundation has given US$30,000 to Emma’s Torch, a social enterprise that enables refugees living in America to build careers in the hospitality industry.

The grant will help the charity further develop its Culinary Apprenticeship programme, under which refugees are paid to work for eight 40-hour weeks, receiving about 400 hours of training and mentorship.

HMSHost Foundation Director Sheila McGee (left) presents Emma’s Torch Founder and Executive Kerry Brodie with the US$30,000 grant.

They move from basic kitchen skills to full-time roles in the Emma’s Torch restaurant before, in many cases, seeking full-time work, said HMSHost Foundation in a statement.

HMSHost Foundation President Paul Mamalian said: “Refugees coming to America face enormous challenges and obstacles that often lead to situations in work and in life that nobody should ever have to face.

“Emma’s Torch welcomes refugees and gives them an asset they can rely on for the rest of their lives.

“The Emma’s Torch culinary training programme is truly a blessing for many … and we want these talented, passionate and hardworking people to succeed as they assimilate in America and maybe eventually become a part of HMSHost’s family.

“Emma’s Torch lays the groundwork for this to happen.”

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) wrote the poem The New Colossus, lines from which are now inscribed under the Statue of Liberty.

The charity is named after Emma Lazarus, the poet who wrote the words now inscribed beneath the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour, which for more than a century has often been one of the first sights to greet immigrants arriving in America: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Emma’s Torch Executive Director Kerry Brodie said: “We are so grateful for the support of HMSHost Foundation.

“Their gift and their commitment to inclusion in the culinary industry send a clear message to our students. As our students begin their new careers in the culinary industry, we are proud that HMSHost can be a partner in their journey.”

In the programme’s first year, 100% of the students who looked for work found permanent jobs in the catering industry, according to a statement from the foundation.

HMSHost Corporation said it plans to work with Emma’s Torch on recruiting and job placements. In New York, it operates restaurants at LaGuardia Airport, John F Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and the New York State Thruway, a highway system.