By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
Marret McLaughlin truly values the opportunity to attend The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.
The Lewes resident is part of the Delaware WONDER class now in session at the Milford Branch. Delaware WONDER is a pilot to provide SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) employment training opportunities to adults.
“I never had the money to go to school,” she said, adding that she found the opportunity through the state’s social services system.
“I worked for a cleaning business, but that is not where I wanted to be. I always wanted to do culinary,” Marret said.
She recognizes that the 14-week training offers more than just an opportunity to master kitchen skills.
“I am definitely learning more than culinary. I am learning about myself and life in general. I’m learning character traits, like patience, that I want to portray. I’ve learned a lot about myself from Chef Tish,” she said.
“Like not doubting myself. It’s awesome having a coach.”
And then Marret continues to elaborate on her learning process.
“I know now that I don’t have to stick with what’s easy and what I know. I can expand my horizons,” she said.
She’s also very appreciative of the experiences, some outside the kitchen, that are part of the Culinary School’s curriculum.
“I got to go on a boat cruise, and I got to interact with everybody. That was a chance to see the people who help us.”
She’ll soon enter the two-week paid internship portion of the training, another experience she’s eagerly awaiting.
“I try not to take this outstanding opportunity too lightly. I got very blessed. This is something I wanted to do. I know God lined this up.”
Chef Instructor Tish praised Marret’s skills and her positive attitude.
“She’s like a sponge. She soaks everything up. I see a lot of potential. She’s opened up a whole new world, and she will take it to the next level,” she said.
Marret, who hopes to land a job in a beach restaurant kitchen, is well aware that she’s on the road to something new.
“My education doesn’t have to stop here. This is just a jump start into more education.”
For more information about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here. The next classes begin the week of September 12.