Jesuit Father Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries, an outreach program for gang members in Los Angeles, recently partnered with Ralphs grocery store chain to sell Homeboy chips and salsa. The products were the hottest-selling snack item at the 256 Ralphs deli sections across Southern California in early February.
Fr. Boyle said he was inspired by the late actor Paul Newman, whose “Newman’s Own” products funded nonprofit organizations. The products launched at Ralphs last month as part of an effort to revive Homeboy’s hard-hit finances.
“The aim is to expand the brand so that Homeboy becomes a household name and then a household idea,” said Boyle.
Proceeds go to funding Homeboy services such as tattoo removal and counseling.
“If we can increase revenue, we could fundraise less,” Boyle said.
Last year, Homeboy laid off about 330 people and nearly shut its doors when it couldn’t raise the $5 million needed to operate. Because of donations, “things have stabilized. We’ve brought back senior staff, about 100 jobs,” he said.
Read the full story on Boyle’s latest Homeboy venture at the Los Angeles Times.