New beginnings for 13 graduates

April 25, 2024

This morning, we celebrated the accomplishments of 13 students who successfully completed our culinary and warehousing/logistics training programs. The students started the training program in January and for the past 14 weeks they overcame adversity to meet their personal goals of finishing the program.

Executive Chef Tim Hunter encouraged the graduates to keep moving forward. “We talk about taking the first step, that most important step, but we don’t hear about taking that second or third step,” he said. They took the first step, the second and third step is to keep moving forward. If you keep taking those second and third steps, that darkness turns into light. We keep moving forward. We can’t go back.”

The graduates are:

L.O.G.I.C. (Logistics, Operations, General Warehousing and Inventory Control)

  • Gary Clark
  • William Cohen
  • Michael Davis
  • Mark Farlow
  • Stanley Gatewood
  • Julio Rodriguez
  • John Strawbridge

The Culinary School

  • Robin Brown
  • Lester Bryant
  • Arik Burrell
  • Mela Foster
  • Janay Grasty
  • Ba’Lisha (B) White

The classes learned the ins and outs of their respective fields. From proper knife handling techniques to ServSafe ® certification and completing a two-week work experience, the culinary students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food service industry.

On the other hand, the L.O.G.I.C. students learned how to safely maneuver and operate warehouse equipment like fork lifts, pallet jacks, end riders and more. Program participants worked towards earning the nationally-accredited Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician credentials, forklift and OSHA-10 certification.

Food Bank of Delaware Board of Director and Community Engagement Program Administrator for the Delaware Department of Justice, Corie Priest, provided inspiring keynote remarks. “I have been involved with the Food Bank of Delaware since I was nine years old. Growing up in the Southbridge Projects, once a month I would sit at the firehouse to collect our butter and hard cheese, no-frills peanut butter… living in a food desert and having food insecurities growing up… this is full circle. The Food Bank fed me for many years. There were many nights I went to bed not eating. I used to go to school just to eat, not to learn.”

The graduates expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to participate in these life-changing programs. Each had an opportunity to make remarks to the audience after accepting their certificates of completion.

Culinary graduate Robin Brown said, “I define life, life doesn’t define me.”

L.O.G.I.C. graduate William Cohen had encouraging advice for his fellow graduates, “Just keep on moving, nothing is going to stop us,” he advised.

Culinary graduate Arik Burrell was the class’ top student receiving a 97.5 percent grade point average. Chef Instructor James Bacchues pointed out that Arik accomplished this while working the night shift and attending class during the day – he never missed a day of class.

The next training programs at the Food Bank of Delaware in Newark and Milford begin in May. To learn more, click here.

Congratulations, graduates!

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