The Vermont Foodbank and Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) are excited to announce the Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) program’s first graduating class at the new CVCAC facility in Barre. This summer, the Vermont Foodbank, partnering locally with Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) expanded the statewide Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) program to Barre, VT.

“The Community Kitchen Academy students have been an inspiration for all of us, here at CVCAC,” notes Hal Cohen, Executive Director.  “We have watched their confidence grow along with their culinary skills.  This has been an exceptional class of students who have been eager to learn and take charge of their futures.”

“Community Kitchen Academy is transforming lives,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “With job training, college credits, mentoring, and more, we are providing CKA graduates with the resources they need to make lasting and sustainable changes in their own lives and be full participants in the Vermont community.”


Friday, October 25, 2013


Central Vermont Community Action Council
20 Gable Place
Barre, VT


Governor Madeleine Kunin, Hal Cohen, CVCAC Executive Director and John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO congratulate graduating CKA students.

CKA Graduate, Alan Wild, talks about his personal experience as a student of the program.

Chef Jamie Eisenberg, CKA Chef Instructor


Judy Stermer, Vermont Foodbank

Kevin Wiberg, CVCAC


About Community Kitchen Academy
Community Kitchen Academy prepares underemployed and unemployed Vermonters for a career in the food service industry and lifelong learning through an intensive program of culinary skills development, career readiness and job placement. Students actively develop and apply new skills by creating wholesome meals for those at risk of hunger using food that has been gathered from within our communities that may otherwise go to waste.

Students are eligible for an attendance bonus, culinary equipment and uniforms. Students can qualify for up to 9 college credits, receive certified training for ServSafe Food Safety and are assisted in finding full-time employment.

The Vermont Foodbank has been partnering with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf to operate CKA since 2009.  There have been thirteen sessions, graduating 91 students and boasting an 87% success rate with job placement or further education.




Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, economic disruptions, and recent flooding. The Vermont Foodbank and its network have been on the front lines, working to ensure that everyone has the food they need to maintain their health. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided over 12 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.