Catholic Charities of Louisville’s mission is to provide services for people in need, advocate for justice in social structures, and call others of goodwill to do the same. It serves clients of all religious, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds, by welcoming, empowering, and strengthening them. The Norton Foundation supports two key programs: Common Earth Gardens and Common Table. These programs provide a pathway to self-sufficiency, advance a positive social mission, and empower clients.

Common Earth Gardens is dedicated to improving the quality of life of refugee families and Louisville communities through agricultural opportunities. It encourages these communities’ self-reliance by facilitating access to land, culturally-appropriate training, community education, technical assistance, and opportunities for supplemental income. The majority of refugees resettled in Kentucky come from agrarian societies and have extensive farming skills and expertise. Growers include refugees from Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. The program improves their agricultural skills, and provides increased access to fresh, nutritious produce.

Common Table is an eight week culinary arts training program designed to train those facing barriers to employment. The culinary and life skills developed during the class help students establish gainful employment after graduation. It includes a catering and lunch service and all money generated is reinvested into the program.

These unique programs complement the Norton Foundation’s interest in supporting entrepreneurial programs that benefit Louisville’s residents. We admire the work of Catholic Charities and value our partnership with them.