Alumni Spotlight: Carlos Thomas is Addressing Food Insecurity in Pittsburgh through his Entrepreneurial Venture, Feed the Hood

Categorized: Alumni, News
Chef Carlos Thomas carries a pan of food in front of a school bus

Chef and business owner, Carlos Thomas is an alum of The Best Buy Teen Tech Center @ PHASE 4 Learning Lab in Pittsburgh, PA where his daughter is a current Member. Carlos currently mentors at The Teen Tech Center. He works with current members to develop educational campaigns about food security in Pittsburgh. He aspires to open a learning center aligned with a commercial kitchen to teach young people about food science. Carlos says, “it essentially would be a Clubhouse Kitchen where youth would see diverse chefs, be exposed to food photography, food chemists, and more.” This Clubhouse Kitchen would be a place where youth could learn about the food they eat, prepare their own meals, and take home fresh local ingredients. People would get back control over the food they put in their bodies.

Feed the Hood started in 2011 when Carlos and other community members started to give away hot dogs through Hot Dogs for the Hood. This manifested into something much bigger, Feed the Hood. In addition to starting Feed the Hood, Carlos recently launched Confluence Catering LLC. Through his various education and food ventures, Carlos is working to destigmatize those who face food insecurity across Pittsburgh. He develops pop up spots and education on healthy food. He is bringing power over food back to the people.

Carlos has taken his activism a step further by running for a Pittsburgh School Committee seat. He wants to help transform school lunches, advocate for healthier SNAP benefit options, and bring more grocery stores to the numerous neighborhoods that are food deserts.

Carlos hopes to inspire and collaborate with other Clubhouse members and alumni who want to be part of solving food insecurity, have open forums about food policy, and connect to launch new ventures for social good.

Learn more about Carlos’ business Just Say Chef and #FeedTheHood.