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Salsa raises funds for anti-gang program

October 10, 2009 12:02:04 AM PDT
A group that helps gang members make a clean break and start new lives is spicing up Los Angeles.Homegirl Cafe is selling two types of salsa at the downtown Ralph's beginning Friday.

The salsas at the downtown L.A. Ralph's supermarket are more than something to dip your chips in.

Through a partnership with Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Cafe, the supermarket chain will sell mango and morita salsas to raise money to keep the job training programs going for gang members who want to turn their lives around.

"This partnership with Ralph's and Homegirl Cafe goes a long way in assuring that Homeboy Industries continues in their mission to providing alternatives to gangs and the job opportunities that are critical to breaking the cycle of violence," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

"It is our hope that this program would supplement the amazing organization today and in the future in a very real and sustainable way," said Kendra Doyle of Ralph's.

The recipes for the salsas come from the girls of Homegirl Cafe, and Ralph's helps with the production.

The salsas are only available at the downtown Ralph's for now.

For nearly two decades, Homeboy Industries has offered former gang members an alternative to that lifestyle, resulting in a second chance.

"Everybody that walks through the door gets it, whether it's in services such as counseling, work or work experience like us," said Marilyn of Homegirl Cafe.

"Homeboy Industries is the largest and the most comprehensive I think effective and successful gang intervention program in the United State of America. If there are 1,100 gangs in this county and 86,000 gang members, and 12,000 folks walk through our doors every year," said Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

This first check they made acts as an investment into those second chances.

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