KNG Inc., a leading restaurant supplies manufacturer, is beefing up its Coats for Class program by offering up to $50,000 in grants to public culinary education programs that serve disadvantaged children and young adults. Grants in the range of $500 to $2,000 will be awarded as a credit that recipients can use to buy KNG chef wear.

Public schools and nonprofit organizations based in the United States and its territories can submit requests online at between June 11 and Aug. 31, 2012. Grant recipients are notified within one week of applying and may spend credits on KNG's complete line of chef wear (including children's aprons), embroidery, and shipping. Grant applicants must describe how their program aligns with KNG's Coats for Class grant objectives, how a grant would help achieve the objectives of their program, and why their organization deserves the company's support.

KNG originally launched Coats for Class in 2009 to provide discounts on chef apparel to public and nonprofit culinary education programs. Supporting the community service of culinary professionals on a national level in a way that delivers local impact is the main reason KNG funded the $50,000 in grants, according to CEO Matt McDonagh. "As a leading manufacturer of chef wear for the foodservice industry, we feel it's important to support the national movement of the culinary industry to give back to their local communities through education," he says. "Our Coats for Class grants will help fuel a passion for cooking and the culinary arts among people who might not otherwise get the opportunity."

The first grant recipient, Life's Kitchen — a Boise, Idaho, nonprofit that transforms the lives of at-risk young adults by teaching them the skills needed to be employable in the foodservice industry — couldn't agree more. "We're absolutely thrilled to receive KNG's support, because it's very difficult for programs like ours to obtain funding for uniforms through traditional grant sources," says Kurt Alderman, the nonprofit's executive director. "The Coats for Class grant will tangibly strengthen our organization's ability to prepare our at-risk students for successful careers in foodservice."

KNG also has awarded the ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation a grant to support its mission of educating children and families in understanding proper nutrition through the community-based initiatives led by its more than 20,000 American Culinary Federation chef members.