Food bank culinary school accepting new applications

MILFORD — Want to start 2017 with a new career in the food service industry? The next classes for The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware in Newark and Milford will both begin on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Applications are being accepted for interested students.

The 14-week program includes 12 weeks (daytime hours) of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling and life skills. Students also have the opportunity to become ServSafe® certified. The 12 weeks of 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.

“The Culinary School has been willing to give me the opportunity to come from being incarcerated and giving me a chance,” said Cleon Stewart, a Newark culinary student who will graduate in February. “They are tough, they are no nonsense in the kitchen, but they are willing to teach you and get you where you need to be if this is what a person wants.”

Students work under the instruction of Executive Chef Tim Hunter and Chef Instructor Tish Badamshin at the Milford Branch and Chef Instructors Donnie Stephens and Jesse Santiago in Newark.

“We are excited to provide valuable food service training to local residents,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “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.”

IMG_3456.jpg: Class 10 at the Milford Branch graduated in October. Graduates are Sylvia Dise, Vanessa Diaz, Fred Drew, Frank Harrison, Kelly Halliday, Chester Reid, Ruthann Messick (Culinary School Program Manager), Tish Badamshin (Chef Instructor). Special to The Chronicle

The cost to attend is $5,200; however, the Food Bank of Delaware works with each candidate to identify funding sources. In addition to training, students are also provided a monthly bus pass three times during the program if they take public transportation; if the student has their own car they are provided a $50 gas card three times during the program. All students are provided with two chef jackets, two chef pants, one chef hat, nonslip shoes, a culinary knife, cutting glove, cooking thermometer, notebooks, pens, flash drive and a personal care kit. All testing fees for the ServSafe® certification are also included in the program.

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 are referred to the program through Delaware Health and Social Services, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Delaware Center for Justice, Delaware Department of Corrections, Department of Veterans Affairs and other community-based organizations.

For more information or to apply, please visit www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/ or contact Lynda Pusey at (302) 292-1305 ext 265 or lpusey@fbd.org (New Castle County) or Ruthann Messick at (302) 424-3301 ext 107 or rmessick@fbd.org.

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