Summer Culinary Exploration Program students end training on high note

August 18, 2022

The Newark culinary kitchen erupted with cheers this morning as the accomplishments of seven students were celebrated! The students successfully completed the Food Bank’s four-week Summer Culinary Exploration Program!

The graduates were: Billie Cobb, Terry Daise, Aether Maring, Tatiana Murphy, Warren Scott, Savannah Schulte and Christian Smalls.

Under the instruction of Executive Chef Tim Hunter and Chef Instructor Ron Roll, the students spent part of the summer getting a glimpse into the food service industry. The program is designed for teens and young adults ages 16-21 with intellectual disabilities.

“These students came to class each day with a smile on their faces,” said Hunter. “They are a true joy. This is my favorite class to teach here at the Food Bank, because these students are so special. They do whatever you ask them to do, they are enthusiastic, and they just love being here.”

The program serves students who want to learn more about the culinary arts and the food service industry. Students learned kitchen safety, knife identification, and sanitation methods. They enjoyed hands-on cooking experiences like making cupcakes and homemade tomato sauce, met guest chefs, participated in course-related field trips and earned a ServSafe® Food Handler Certificate.

“Today I am speaking to you as the President and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware, but I am also a mom,” said Cathy Kanefsky. “I have three sons; my two oldest are twins with autism. I know what it feels like to be uncertain about what tomorrow will bring, but I know with certainty that there are opportunities out there for everyone. These students showed over the past four weeks that they are talented and can offer Delaware restaurant employers a lot – especially a lot of heart.”

Today’s guests were treated to a lunch prepared by the graduates. A brunch buffet featured French toast, bacon, turkey sausage, hash browns, chicken and eggplant parmesan amd more! The graduates served their family members – giving the class one last hands-on activity! After serving their families, they sat down to enjoy lunch as well.

Lunch was delicious, and the result of the students’ hard work and enthusiasm!

The exploration program is made possible through the Delaware Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).

And looking ahead to October, the Food Bank will launch a new 14-week program, The Kitchen School, at the Newark headquarters in partnership with the Delaware Restaurant Association. The program will start in Milford in the spring, focusing on training adults with intellectual disabilities for employment in the food service industry.

Visit to learn more about Food Bank of Delaware programs.

Congratulations, graduates!


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