The Justice League of Food (JLF) works to break the cycle of poverty in Central Iowa by “Teaching a Man to Fish”. We invest in individuals by providing the homeless and hungry with job training and placement in the food and beverage industry. The JLF was founded by Nick and Lynn Kuhn in 2017. After spending a few years feeding the homeless and the hungry with local food trucks, they realized that their efforts were not moving the needle as they were seeing the same faces year after year. This realization combined with other personal experiences prompted them to come up with a different solution. An opportunity to create a sustainable model based on collaboration between for-profit, non-profit and government materialized and the JLF was born.
What We Do
Recruit from local shelters and organizations that serve the homeless and the hungry.
Provide a paid apprenticeship opportunity for those in need.
Provide trained culinary staff to food and beverage businesses.
Partner with other non-profits and government for the preparation and distribution of meals to the hungry.
What We Stand For
Entrepreneurism – Fueling the local economy.
Social Responsibility – Putting profits to work to better peoples’ lives.
Community – People helping people.
Collaboration – Business helping business.
Mentorship – Sharing intellectual capital.
Sustainable Solutions – Healthy community through healthy business.
Who We Serve
The homeless youth and the hungry community of Central Iowa.
Governmental programs focused on the homeless and the hungry.
NPO’s focused on the homeless and the hungry.
Board of Directors
Nicholas Kuhn, President and Director
Mr. Kuhn is a successful restaurateur in Des Moines, Iowa. During the past two years, he served as the President of the local Food Truck Association known as the Legion of Food, and is responsible for the unprecedented growth of the fledgling food truck industry in Iowa. During his tenure as President of the association, he was exposed to the plight of the homeless and hungry in Central Iowa, and initiated a campaign of using food trucks to provide free lunch services at local homeless shelters and homeless outreach events, as well as hiring residents of local shelters to work at food and entertainment events in the City of Des Moines.
Lynn Kuhn, Vice President, Secretary and Director
Mrs. Kuhn is an accomplished Landscape Architect and is the owner of a landscape design consulting business. She is also the Past Executive Director of an Iowa § 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization known as the Brenton Arboretum, which was a public garden in Polk County, Iowa. She is experienced in the daily operations, event planning and fundraising efforts of tax-exempt organizations.
James Holstein, Treasurer and Director
Mr. Holstein is a retiring CFO of a non-profit organization that serves the mentally challenged. He was selected for the Organization’s board of directors and as its Treasurer for his non-profit financial and accounting background.
Mark Phillips, Director
Mr. Phillips is the Executive Director of the Polk County Continuum of Care, which is the overarching organization in Polk County that endeavors to reduce the homeless population in Central Iowa. He has significant experience in developing partnerships between governmental agencies and charitable organizations that serve the homeless and hungry, and maintains relationships with all non-profit organizations in Central Iowa that share this mission.
Robert Rennebohm, Director
Mr. Rennebohm is a retired Landscape Architect and local businessman with strong business acumen and a strong connection to the philanthropic community in Des Moines, Iowa. He serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations in Des Moines.
Christine Ver Ploeg, Director
Ms. Ver Ploeg is a retired judge, attorney, arbitrator and law professor who holds board positions with numerous charitable organizations. She was selected for the Organization’s board for her legal and non-profit board experience.
Sean Wilson, Director
Mr. Wilson is the chef and owner of a successful fine dining restaurant in Des Moines. More importantly, Mr. Wilson completed a year of volunteerism running a kitchen skills training program for the homeless in a non-profit kitchen in Boston, Massachusetts. He was specifically selected to help develop the Organization’s skills training program.
Molly Pins, Director
Molly is our most recent board member and specializes in event planning and non-profit fundraising. She has led fundraising efforts for local organizations such as the Science Center and Hoyt Sherman Place. Her expertise will help guide our long-term strategic fundraising plan.