The Chester County Food Bank provides food and nutrition education to its residents who are at-risk or experiencing food insecurity in Chester County. Distributing food to hungry people meets a persistent need, however, a lasting result to ending food insecurity in our community stems from achieving true economic self-sufficiency. Chester County Food Bank launched FRESHstart KitchenTM to educate and prepare under or unemployed residents for opportunities and sustainable employment in the food service industry. FRESH is an acronym for Focusing Resources on Employment, Self-Sufficiency and Health, directly aligned with strategic planning and programming for the Food Bank.
Located in Exton, FRESHstart KitchenTM is located within the headquartered offices of the Chester County Food Bank. With a fully certified production kitchen and a uniquely qualified staff, the program began its inaugural class in September 2018.
Specifically designed to assist individuals with limited work experience, barriers to employment or significant personal challenges – including substance abuse and criminal records, the program adeptly named will provide life skills to help address distinctive and significant challenges entering or reentering the workforce. Many of the program’s anticipated students may have limited organization skills, undeveloped problem-solving skills, and an untapped ability to work in concert with others. FRESHstart KitchenTM recognizes that the foodservice industry is unique in its ability to provide opportunities for rapid advancement to those with minimal work histories and limited formal education – providing they obtain proper training and develop strong teamwork capacities.
FRESHstart KitchenTM will instruct enrolled participants to acquire a specific skill set with a 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 supports:
- Practical Hands-On Instruction by Mentor Chefs
- ServSafe Managers Certification
- Restaurant Ready Certification
- Transportation provided / Stipend if you have your own transportation
- Job Placement Support
- Daily $25 Participation Stipend
- $50 / week grocery gift card
Next class starts October 11, 2022
For more information or to apply contact Alex Gomez, Workforce Development Associate email@example.com, or call 610-873-6000 ext. 127.
Working beside professional chefs and the Culinary Director, the Culinary Intern will assist with our upcoming class of the FRESHstart Kitchen. Interns will gain hands-on experience in menu development, recipe formulation, facilities management, and the day-to-day operations of an active production kitchen. For the full internship description and information to apply click here.