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The Power of Asking for Help with Jen Hidinger-Kendrick of Giving Kitchen

In the bustling world of the food service industry, Jen Hidinger-Kendrick embarked on a journey that transcended mere entrepreneurship. As the Founder of The Giving Kitchen, she aimed to be of service to those in need. However, it wasn’t until she recognized the importance of asking for help herself that the venture truly took flight. 


Reflecting on her experience, she states, “I absolutely raised my hand as someone who didn’t need help. At the moment that we let that wall break and said, ‘Okay, you can help,’ was the moment that our lives changed.” 


This shift in perspective, from self-sufficiency to acknowledging vulnerability, marked a turning point not only for Hidinger-Kendrick but for the 15,500 food service workers whose lives have been positively impacted by The Giving Kitchen.


Confidentiality is a cornerstone of The Giving Kitchen’s work. Hidinger-Kendrick emphasizes the seriousness with which they handle personal stories, ensuring utmost privacy until the client consents to share their journey. The commitment to confidentiality underscores the organization’s dedication to maintaining the trust of those they support. Monthly reflections reveal a trove of gratitude, with over 30 or 41 liners expressing thanks from clients who have received assistance. This confidentiality allows for genuine connections, demonstrating that the impact of The Giving Kitchen extends far beyond the immediate assistance provided.


“We are exceptionally serious about our work,” says Hidinger-Kendrick. “Everything is confidential until the client says it’s okay to publish something.” 


Partnerships have played a pivotal role in The Giving Kitchen’s growth, with key allies like Pop Menu contributing to impactful campaigns such as “Dining with Gratitude.” Hidinger-Kendrick acknowledges Pop Menu’s exceptional support, describing their involvement as going “above and beyond to help us truly from an inside market event to just being able to help storytell.” 


The Dining with Gratitude campaign, a national initiative, has not only raised awareness but has also become a significant source of fundraising. As restaurants nationwide participate, the campaign exemplifies the ripple effect of helping one, echoing Giving Kitchen’s fundamental belief that aiding a single individual can lead to profound impacts on a broader scale.


Listen to this episode of Digital Hospitality to learn more about The Giving Kitchen their mission to serve families across the nation. Also, head over to the Giving Kitchen Website to find out ways you can get involved!

Episode Links:

Interview Takeaways:

The Power of Asking for Help – Jen Hidinger-Kendrick started The Giving Kitchen to be of service. Oddly enough, the venture wouldn’t have taken off the way it has without her first realizing that she first needed help, and having the courage to ask for it.

Confidentiality and Countless Gratitude – The Giving Kitchen is involved with the personal stories of the families they serve. With that said, Jen Hidinger-Kendrick and company keep confidentiality as a priority throughout each situation, while ensuring that they are still growing and reaching more families.

Dining with Gratitude: A National Campaign – Partnerships have been key to the growth of The Giving Kitchen. Key partners, such as Pop Menu, have led to campaigns like Dining with Gratitude that have been invaluable to the awareness and fundraising for Jen Hidinger-Kendrick and The Giving Kitchen.

Cali BBQ Media

Digital Hospitality is an interview-based video podcast hosted by business owner Shawn P. Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) and produced by his Cali BBQ Media company. The weekly digital series explores the ways successful businesses and entrepreneurs have merged old and new with innovative digital strategies that harness the power of the Internet and social media. Shawn is the founder of Cali BBQ Media and creator of the Restaurant Influencers podcast on Entrepreneur Media.


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