FBD Culinary School To Begin Second Class

Executive Chef Tim Hunter showing new students around the commercial kitchen at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School.

The Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford Branch has announced that their second class of the new Culinary School will begin on Monday, January 6, 2014 as applications for participants are now being accepted until December 19. Part of the newest expansion to the Milford facility, the Culinary School provides valuable job training to unemployed, underemployed, clients with disabilities, ex-offenders and those in career transition.

The fourteen-week program includes learning basic and high-end kitchen skills as well as Life-Empowerment Skills such as resume building, time management, financial literacy and interviewing. Students have the opportunity to internship will local restaurants as they earn their ServSafe certification, a course essential for those working in commercial kitchens.

Shane Pennell, of Milford, a student in the Milford branch’s inaugural class, found a part-time job in the culinary industry early in the training period, and says he enjoys the educational experience The Culinary School provides.

“I don’t miss a day. I’m learning a lot, and I like coming here,” he said.

The twelve weeks of kitchen training culminates with a two-week paid internship at a food service company. Upon graduation, the Food Bank of Delaware helps place students in entry-level jobs in the food industry.

“We are excited to provide valuable food service training to local residents,” said Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “We know that in order to end hunger in our state we must provide residents with job training that will lead to sustainable employment. The food service industry plays an important role in Delaware’s economy, and we are proud that will be able to provide skilled workers to local businesses in the industry.”

Last year’s program consisted of twelve students, all of whom are due to graduate after their two-week internship, on Tuesday, December 17. The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

Students interested in applying to The Culinary School must have a high school diploma or GED with a ninth grade reading and math level. The cost to attend is $5,700, however, the Food Bank of Delaware works with each candidate to identify funding sources. Students are referred to the program through the Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs and other community-based organizations. For more information or to apply, please contact Brenda Palomo, Culinary Arts Program Manager, at (302) 424-3301 ext 107 or bpalomo@fbd.org.