GE Appliances partners with Kitchen Possible to support Chicago families

May 25th 2021

Young girl poses for photo in front of new toaster oven

GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, has partnered with Chicago nonprofit Kitchen Possible to provide GE Digital Air Fry 7-in-1 Toaster Ovens to 46 households in Chicago’s Pilsen and East Garfield Park neighborhoods as part of GEA’s community engagement investments with nonprofit organizations and community partners who connect people with the resources they need to be successful.

Kitchen Possible teaches weekly cooking lessons to young people ages eight through 12 in underserved Chicago neighborhoods. The mission of Kitchen Possible is to build empowered mindsets in kids through cooking. 

Katie Lowman and a young boy look inside the toaster oven.

In each eight-week session, the kids experience powerful life lessons firsthand. Lessons learned include the importance of patience, that it’s ok to ask for help, and how to course-correct when things aren’t going as planned. Each class follows the "5 Steps to Cook Anything" - a model that can be applied outside of the kitchen toward the children’s challenges and goals in life.

As a result of COVID-19, classes were taught virtually, and Kitchen Possible Founder and President Katie Lowman noticed barriers to student participation.

“Our volunteers and instructors recognized not every family had the same resources,” said Lowman. “Seeing children left out, and not able to participate inspired me to reach out to GE Appliances to request appliance donations for those families. The company responded by offering appliances to all of our winter session participants.”

The 7-in-1 Toaster Oven is one of GEA’s new small appliances launched in late 2020. It is a toaster oven, but also functions as a convection oven and air fryer, essentially allowing the children to have a fully functioning oven on their countertops.

Young boy poses for a photo with his new toaster oven.

“At GE Appliances, we come together to make good things for life through our people, products and the places where we operate,” said Katina Whitlock, GEA senior manager of community engagement. “When we received Katie’s request, we recognized an opportunity to remove barriers and provide equitable resources to every student in the program- this way every child has the same resource to participate. Kitchen Possible uses cooking to not only promote self-efficacy, but also teaches transferrable skills and exposes youth to future career opportunities. That’s an investment in the future of those families and communities we’re honored to support.”

During the pandemic, GEA focused on three guiding principles: protecting the health and safety of employees, delivering for customers, and helping to build stronger communities. 

Young girl and her mother poses for a photo with their new toaster oven.

In 2020, GEA released the company’s first-ever Corporate Citizenship Impact Report titled, "We Come Together to Make Good Things, for Life," outlining the company's goals and demonstrating its progress in five key pillars that reflect the company's top priorities and serve as the foundation for its citizenship work: Community Engagement; Inclusion & Diversity; Operations Sustainability; Product Sustainability; and Compliance & Ethics.

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