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Registration now open for Food Bank of Delaware culinary training to start Jan. 22

Food Bank works with individuals to find funding sources
December 26, 2017

Applications are currently being accepted for interested students to start 2018 with a career in Delaware's food service industry. The next classes of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware in both Newark and Milford will begin Monday, Jan. 22.

Since the school began in 2002, more than 575 students have graduated. The program is certified as a trade school by the Delaware Department of Education. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Tim Hunter and Chef Instructors Tish Badamshin in Milford, and Sean McNeice and Rocky Brown in Newark, the program provides valuable job training to unemployed and underemployed adults, adults with disabilities, and individuals returning to society from Delaware's Department of Correction.

The 14-week program includes 12 weeks, during 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. Students not only are able to prove their skills and attain hands-on experience, but also have a good chance of attaining full-time employment from the experience.

Upon graduation, the Food Bank of Delaware helps place students in entry-level jobs in the food industry.

"For many students, The Culinary School is a second chance at success," said Hunter. "We don't require previous cooking experience, but we do expect students to show up and take a true interest in this field. Our job is to prepare students for a career. The Culinary School is about more than just cooking, it's about changing lives."

Students interested in applying to The Culinary School must have a high school diploma or GED with ninth-grade reading and math levels. The cost to attend is $5,700, but the Food Bank of Delaware works with each candidate to identify funding sources.

The mission of The Culinary School is twofold. 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.

Jose Rivera is currently attending class at The Culinary School.

"I never thought I would be cooking one day," he said. "It's built my character in a multitude of different ways ... be consistent, be a team player. Unless I am a team player, I can't be efficient in the kitchen. I am able to use the lessons learned here in all walks of life."

He added, "If you are ready to push forward, and you want to better yourself and learn a lot of different skill sets, I would say go for it. There are a lot of different things that we learn aside from cooking and how to use a knife. We have life skills; we have financial coaching. They help you with all different aspects."

Students are referred to the program through the Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Correction and other community-based organizations.

For more information or to apply, go to www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school or contact Ruthann Messick for Kent and Sussex counties at 302-424-3301, Ext. 107, or rmessick@fbd.org.

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