As part of the graduation celebration of the 59th class of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, Barclays presented a check for $125,000 to help support the Food Bank’s workforce development initiative, Delaware Food Works.
Funding will support the Delaware Food Works programming including The Culinary School and L.O.G.I.C. (Logistics, Operations, General Warehousing and Inventory Control) as well as to support a collaborative partnership with The Challenge Program in Wilmington to provide handcrafted furniture made by at-risk youth for the Food Bank’s new headquarters in Newark. Barclays has supported the Food Bank of Delaware’s workforce development initiatives through its Connect with Work program since 2008.
“We are delighted to support the Delaware Food Works’ students on their pathway to employment and to play our part in helping them to achieve their career ambitions in partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware. This initiative and impactful partnership form a key part of Barclays Connect with Work program which, through job specific skills training, hopes to place a quarter of a million people into work by 2022 globally,” said Jenn Cho, Head of Community Relations, Barclays US Consumer Bank.
This morning’s graduates included: Romaine Barnes, Curtis Butler, Glenn Coleman, Jada Coleman, Carolyn Joyner, Keyonia Laws, Jason McLeish, Sade Tatman, DaQwan Vincent and Bernard Woods.
Students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their skills both in and outside the kitchen. From proper knife handling techniques to ServSafe® certification and completing a two-week paid work experience, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry. Guest speakers and field trips have rounded out the formal training program.
“Our vision at the Food Bank of Delaware is a community free of hunger. In order to achieve this, we must provide Delawareans with skills that lead to sustainable employment,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Our solution to ending poverty in our community is through our Delaware Food Works workforce development initiative. We are proud of the students who are standing here today. This 14-week training program is not easy. They persevered. We can’t wait to see them on this next step in their culinary journeys.”
“I’m very appreciative for the opportunity the Food Bank gave me,” said graduate Jason McLeish. “The Culinary School helped me gain employment and a new start on my future.”
Students’ tuition was funded through multiple sources including Barclays, Capital One, Chase and Comenity Bank, the Veterans Administration and Delaware Department of Labor.
Students have landed employment at Ted’s Montana Grill, Fusion Spice Bar and Grill and Restaurant Associates at JPMorgan Chase.
After the ceremony, graduates served guests a lunch buffet that included roasted chicken, sweet corn crab soup, crusted salmon with pineapple mango salsa, macaroni and cheese, apple spice cake and more.
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. To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, visit www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school.