Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has received a $100,000 grant from the Simply Healthcare Foundation for its Culinary Training Program, the nonprofit’s workforce development initiative that prepares low-income adults for a career in the food service industry. The Program offers qualified students with a “hands-on” learning experience of every aspect of the food service industry, from inventory and cost control, staffing and training, to production in a high-volume kitchen through banquet and catering operations, while developing a recipe portfolio they can use during job interviews.
Since its launch in 2013, more than 350 students have completed the program and been placed into jobs within the food industry.
“We’re optimistic that recovery will continue as we see our graduates called back – or find new opportunities to put their talents to work,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “This grant from the Simply Healthcare Foundation will allow us to continue providing hunger relief efforts while also building up a strong workforce for our local restaurants, hotels and other food service providers.”
With support from the Simply Healthcare Foundation, Second Harvest will continue providing food assistance to current students, as well as graduates of the program who lost their jobs and remain unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week, students in the Program receive boxes that serve two purposes: help feed their families and provide additional ingredients to complete at-home lessons. Second Harvest is also assisting approximately 20 former graduates with food boxes. In addition to the weekly boxes of food, the grant will support a 16-week culinary class for a new group of students.
“There is a clear relationship between food insecurity and poor nutrition and we are committed to supporting creative initiatives designed to find innovative solutions to this health care challenge,” said Holly Prince, Simply Healthcare Medicaid Plan President. “Second Harvest’s training program meets this barrier head-on. Not only are students provided healthy food choices to fuel their families, but they also receive valuable work skills that can help them achieve employment.”
Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program Transforms Lives.
The next class begins May 17.