– [Announcer] This Great Big
Story was made possible by Wells Fargo, established
1852, re-established 2018. – [Narrator] This is a
story about a dinner. But not just any dinner. This is a dinner that involves this
kitchen, with these cooks. And this garden, with these gardeners. It’s a center that’s helping a community fight homelessness in a big way. San Francisco has a large
population of homeless people. Just last year, over 4,000 homeless people were reported unsheltered –
and over 6,000 unemployed. Enter Farming Hope. A non-profit created to help those in need by training them in urban
farming, and cooking, in the hopes of helping them
find full-time employment. Joining us from the
Farming Hope initiative is Jamie, Kevin, and Asha. – We just wanted to be the organizers to piece this knowledge
together of how do we grow food and cook it in a way that
opens up our food system, that gets people the job, and the training that they need and want. So what we do is we recruit folks who are experiencing homelessness to join the Farming Hope community and put our mission into action. – [Narrator] But for this to work, participants have to
learn the true meaning of farm-to-table. So the first step is in
the garden with Asha. – My role is to help facilitate
the employees in the garden. So since we just planted this one, maybe we won’t harvest it. But we can harvest from
the rooftop garden. We water, we’re also growing new plants, so we’re putting seeds in the ground. We harvest every week for the kitchen. Kevin uses these in his tacos. And so being here and encouraging them. Beautiful. To get back in touch with themselves just as much as learning about gardening, I think is important. Then once the produce is grown, it’s off to the kitchen with Kevin. – My role in the kitchen is to facilitate a lot of the hands-on
training that we’re doing with our transitional homeless folks. We do a lot of stuff from
knife basics, time management, cleanliness, stuff that can
be directly transferable to other jobs, either
in food or not in food. I’m always really inspired by the people that we’re working with, ’cause they’re the ones that really dedicate themselves to the work. They’re here; they’re
putting in 110 percent, so I think our folks really
deserve a lot of the applause. (chuckles) – [Narrator] And finally,
the team gets to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Each week, they serve up
a meal to both homeless, and non-homeless people. – [Kevin] So for tonight’s
menu, we started off with a roasted butternut squash taco. The second taco, that’s a stewed zucchini. The last taco is a fried rockfish taco. And then lastly for desert, we’re serving a vegan chocolate mousse. – [Narrator] And while for
some eating is the best part, for Philip, it’s the experience. – I was homeless for almost six months for the very first time in my life. I was introduced to Farmers Hope. So I learned a whole lot.
– [Asha] Can you smell it, it smells like lemons a little bit. – Right. It kept me there thinking about my life. So when I’m there, I have peace. They gave me a new place to go. – I think the most unique
part of Farming Hope is gathering people from
distinct walks of life to break bread together, and
just be next to each other. Not every moment of our
life has to be about fixing everything, and
it actually has to start from that place of empathy, of
awareness, of neighborliness. And by involving everybody
at the same level on a dining table, it allows
us to open the space up to actual dialogue, actual
empathy, actual solutions.