When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Central Florida in the gut, students enrolled in Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Culinary Training Program were just beginning the third week of class. With a mandatory stay-at-home order looming, students were worried they would have to set their dreams aside.
Determined to support the students and keep their culinary career goals on track, Second Harvest’s chef instructors and program managers quickly adapted lessons to be taught virtually and in home kitchens. Each week students picked up boxes of food and lessons for the week. Just like thousands of school-age kids, they took to Zoom to participate in lessons or watch demonstrations on YouTube. They documented their progress with journals, photos, videos and PowerPoint presentations. Once the economy began to reopen, students returned to the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen in small groups to hone their skills on commercial-grade equipment, practice cooking as a team and work alongside their chef instructors.
Hear, in their own words, how the Program continues the work of transforming lives, even amid a global pandemic.