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FRESHstart Kitchen

Workforce Development


Paving Culinary Pathways

FRESHstart Kitchen is a culinary arts workforce development training program providing a pathway out of poverty. FRESH is an acronym for: Focusing Resources on Employment, Self-Sufficiency and Health. The program helps students gain confidence and skills to begin a career in the restaurant industry. We provide transportation and personalized support for each student based on their personal and professional goals. 

Establishing a career with a livable wage is the foundation to achieving self-sufficiency and food security. Many of the participants have faced extraordinary personal hardships and endured the challenges of generational poverty and systemic oppression.

Our students experience barriers to employment such as having been previously incarcerated, recovering from addiction, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and homelessness, among other difficulties. Through this program, we provide the necessary support for individuals who have not had the resources or opportunities to succeed.

Restaurant Ready

As a partner of National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Ready program, our curriculum is designed to meet the six core competency areas defined by the industry. In addition to culinary arts instruction and training, the program focuses on self-empowerment (value systems, time management, attitude, communication) and job readiness (resume building, mock interviewing, computer literacy, professional goal setting, interpersonal relationships). The class is concluded with an internship and job placement opportunity where students put their newly developed skills into action in the workplace. We have established strong partnerships with Pennsylvania Restaurant Lodging Association (PRLA) and local restaurants to accomplish successful internships and job placements. The program has afully certified production kitchen and a uniquely qualified staff to support students during and after the completion of the program. We keep in communication with program graduates to provide ongoing assistance and emotional support.


Interested in Enrolling in FRESHstart Kitchen?

FRESHstart KitchenTM will instruct enrolled participants to acquire a specific skill set with a FREE 10-week culinary arts training program. With an anticipated three graduating cohorts per year, each class will be opened to up to eight students. All applicants must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccinations. The program operates Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm and provides the following instruction and support:

For more information or to apply contact Alex Gomez, Workforce Development Associate at agomez@chestercountyfoodbank.org or call 610-873-6000 x127