HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s Culinary Training Program offers a 12-week free training program for economically eligible adults to develop skills that can lead to jobs and self-reliance.
Training takes place in a full commercial kitchen under the leadership of an experienced professional chef. Students prepare approximately 6,000 hot meals each week for the VPF’s Kids Cafe Program as part of their hands-on training that takes place in the kitchen.
Additionally, students receive their ServSafe Manager Certification and job readiness training by community professionals. This training includes sanitary practices, resume development and interviewing skills, time management, leadership, teamwork, decision-making skills, goal setting, conflict resolution, and job maintenance and promotion skills. Graduates currently have a 93 percent employment rate at local businesses.
The Culinary Training Program provides an added bonus for the community. As a result of this daily training program, the food prepared by the trainees will expand the Kids Cafe Program and significantly increase the number of hot meals available for children at risk of hunger. The Kids Cafe Program currently serves 30 sites at schools, churches, boys and girls clubs, community centers, and YMCAs; it provides approximate 240,000 free meals/snacks over 30 weeks each year--but we still have more children in need. With the assistance of the new Culinary Training Program, our goal is to increase hot meal distribution from 2,000 meals weekly to 2,000 meals daily.
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