Chase made a $100,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware this morning at a graduation ceremony honoring the accomplishments of nine students who successfully completed our 14-week culinary training program.
The $100,000 will be used to support student scholarships to The Culinary School, stock local school food pantries with needed supplies and provide weekend food for at-risk children through the Backpack Program.
“Chase continues to work with community organizations, such as the food bank, governments, and businesses to address the issue of unemployment and underemployment in the state of Delaware,” said Daryl Graham, Vice President of Global Philanthropy and Community Relations, JPMorgan Chase. “The Culinary School is an amazing example of the type of program that changes our community for the better everyday.”
Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Nicole Wilson, students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing an internship, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry.
“We are so thankful for Chase’s focus on not only providing nourishment for children and their families, but also supporting our commitment to providing valuable job training skills that will lead to sustainable employment,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We know one of the root causes of poverty is limited employment skills. Our Culinary School provides students with the skillset to not only thrive in the food industry, but their daily lives.”
In addition to honoring nine students who recently completed the program, The Culinary School welcomed back two past graduates who shared how the program has changed their lives.
“When we have goals set in place, achievement will come,” advised Maureen Brown, a past graduate. “I have learned to stay focused on the plan and to never give up. When life brings obstacles, overcome.”
The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First, students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry. Second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.
Students are referred to the program through the Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and other community-based organizations.
Mark Bamforth was among the nine graduates, “Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ I have come to terms with the fact that if I don’t learn from my mistakes, I am destined to repeat them,” he said.
Following today’s ceremony, guests were served a Caribbean-themed lunch prepared by the graduates. The menu featured Caribbean jerk chicken, island Beef Medallions, curry shrimp with rice and pigeon peas, Brazilian black bean stew, mango avocado salad and more.
Congratulations to the graduates!
To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.