LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., – Helping bring healthy meals and snacks to local children, Walt Disney World Resort has cooked up a functional new kitchen space for the Walt Disney World Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida in Orlando’s Pine Hills neighborhood.
Unveiled with community partners and Chef Mickey Mouse at a dedication event today, the expanded new kitchen enables staff to prepare warm, nutritious food for the 270 children the Club welcomes each day. Before the renovation, the Clubhouse kitchen could only support pre-made meals or cold snacks.
“The new kitchen not only helps the Walt Disney World Clubhouse team better serve our kids’ nutritional needs, it incorporates a learning space for teaching culinary and life skill classes,” said Gary W. Cain, president and chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “We continue to be amazed by the ongoing contributions of Disney Cast Members. From volunteering in our neighborhood clubs to supporting our national organization, we would not be able to do what we do without Disney.”
Funded in part by the Corporate Citizenship team at Walt Disney World Resort, the renovation project nearly doubled the kitchen space and replaced household appliances with restaurant-grade equipment donated or discounted by local equipment suppliers. The new kitchen includes a large freezer, an oven with six-burner stovetop, four mobile work tables for cooking classes, new sinks for hand washing, a custom chef’s table, a mobile warming cabinet, a hot food buffet station and a new dishwasher.
“From partnering on the design plans to selecting the equipment, this project has been a true community collaboration between Disney Cast Members, local businesses and partners, each dedicated to meeting the growing needs of the Walt Disney World Clubhouse in Pine Hills,” said Trevor Larsen, senior vice president of Facilities Operations Services at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who serves as a Board of Directors member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
With so many cooks in the kitchen, Disney Cast Members from a variety of teams helped make the project a success. The Walt Disney World Architecture & Facilities Engineering team created the new kitchen design, including architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements. Facility Asset Management Cast Members served as project managers, coordinating the design and construction process. Disney’s Property Control team donated several pieces of equipment to the project. Finally, Disney Food and Beverage partners provided insight about kitchen design and culinary equipment.
Local businesses and community partners also helped bring the kitchen from a vision to reality. Tampa, Fla.-based LGM Design Group offered kitchen equipment design, while Aagaard-Juergensen in Orlando served as general contractor. In addition, United Trophy Manufacturing contributed to the funding of the kitchen renovation.
As a company with 74,000 Disney Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in its local community. Disney is focused on improving the quality of life in Central Florida, with a special interest in helping children and families. Disney contributes to the local community in many ways – through the millions of dollars in taxes it generates for local governments, the leadership it provides on important community issues, the cash and in-kind support it provides local non-profit organizations and the thousands of volunteer hours given by Cast Members.