Culinary program ends with ceremony, brunch

Keonetae Mumford

Kenneth Proano

Joshua Timmons

Matthew Cannon

Matthew Cook

MILFORD — A celebratory ceremony and brunch was held today for the Summer 2017 Pre-Employment Transition Services Culinary Career Exploration Program at the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford. The program was made possible thanks to the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Six students, Matthew Cannon, Matthew Cook, Keontae Mumford, Kenneth Proano, Deshawn Scye and Joshua Timmons not only earned certificates of completion, but also certificates for passing ServSafe® Food Handler certification.

Food Bank of Delaware Executive Chef Tim Hunter offered remarks. He praised the students’ enthusiasm and positive attitudes. “I have a no-excuses policy. From day one, these guys were always excited. I learned from them, and they learned from me. I tell them to keep learning,” he said.

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a brunch prepared by the students. The menu included lime shrimp and roasted corn Belgian waffles, fried chicken tenders, vegetarian frittata, sausage, bacon and cheese frittata, roasted vegetables, accompanied by four salads.

The students incorporated fresh produce from the Food Bank’s garden into the menu.

Since June 10, the students have attended training three days a week for three hours each day. The program was free to qualified students – aged 16-21 who already received Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assistance.

Through this partnership, students learned kitchen safety, knife skills and also experienced cooking and baking opportunities.

Additionally, the students had the opportunity to take field trips and work alongside students participating in the Food Bank of Delaware’s 14-week training program, The Culinary School.

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.

While the summer Pre-Employment Transition Services Culinary Career Exploration Program will not return to the Milford Branch until Summer 2018, the next 14-week training program — daytime hours — of The Culinary School in Milford begins Monday, Sept. 25.

Students interested in learning more or applying for future classes, may visit or contact Ruthann Messick, Workforce Training Program Manager at 424-3301, ext 107 or

The Food Bank of Delaware distributes millions of pounds of products each year to its network of 575 hunger-relief program partners throughout the state and also provides thousands of meals a month for children through the After-School Nutrition Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Backpack Program. The Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs provide for Delawareans at risk of going without meals each year. The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, the Food Bank’s workforce development arm, provides training for adults interested in careers in the food service industry. For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware, visit or call 292-1305.

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