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Saloni Doshi `12 and Chelsea Katz `12 will launch Fresh Takes Kitchen in August, providing wholesome, affordable meals and cooking demonstrations to those who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

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Business ideas that change lives

The inaugural $80,000 Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award goes to Saloni Doshi `12 and Chelsea Katz `12 for their plan to bring healthy food to low-income communities

By Sara Langen

5/15/2012 - Nearly a year ago, Saloni Doshi `12 and Chelsea Katz `12 bonded over a shared interest in food and social change. Now they’ve won the first-ever Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award.

Their proposal for Fresh Takes Kitchen, a service that provides low-income families with wholesome meals and teaches them about nutrition, has won $80,000 from the Carol and Larry Levy Social Entrepreneurship Lab. The money will help with startup costs, and the students will also receive ongoing support in their efforts to address a social or environmental challenge through a novel, sustainable and well-developed vision.

In return, the winners commit to working full-time on the venture after graduation and sharing their insights and progress with the Levy Lab. 

Kellogg is the only school that offers an award this large to both nonprofit and for-profit social enterprises, said Jamie Jones, associate director of social enterprise. The school was inspired to create the award by Kaien founder Keita Suzuki '09, who was a student when he developed his plan to train high-functioning people with autism to work in software firms. The school recognized the importance of supporting such social entrepreneurs, and created the Social Entrepreneurship Award in response.

The award is already influencing the type of student who applies to Kellogg, Jones said.

“We have a growing number of students who are interested in using their business skills to create sustainable social change,” she said. “I have heard from prospective students who are excited about the award. They say it’s clear that Kellogg gets the importance of social enterprises, both nonprofit and for-profit.”

For Doshi and Katz, the award offers the chance to fulfill their dream, putting them more than halfway toward their $150,000 funding goal for the first six months. When they launch in August, they hope to begin providing four to five wholesome meals a week to low-income individuals, as well as cooking demonstrations and educational sessions via their partner organizations.

“We went straight from finding out we won to a thank-you event for our pilot-program customers at the YMCA in Evanston,” Doshi said. “We got really good feedback — it was such a great day and a reminder that this is why we’re doing it.”

 
Further reading

Tapping into talent: Through Kaien, Keita Suzuki '09 harnesses the unique strengths of people with autism

Supporting social ventures: The new Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award will provide $80,000 to help a Kellogg student launch a socially responsible business

‘A step in the right direction’: The Kellogg Net Impact Community is named ‘Chapter of the Year’ by Net Impact, a global organization of students and professionals using business to improve the world