This is a post from Dave Moyer, Community Kitchen Academy Chef Instructor.
Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) prepares underemployed and unemployed Vermonters for careers in the food service industry, while rescuing produce, meat and other foods that would otherwise be wasted from grocery stores, restaurants, local farms and food service companies.
Here, Dave writes about the donations we receive from Vermont Smoke and Cure.
We use Vermont Smoke and Cure regularly here at Community Kitchen Academy. It’s one of the most reliable sources of donated produce we see in the kitchen. We receive this product because of Vermont Smoke and Cure’s relationship with the Vermont Foodbank.
When we receive Vermont Smoke and Cure product in our kitchen, we have an opportunity to teach our students using some of Vermont’s finest product. Students learn knife handling skills, cooking techniques, food handling best practices so that they are well positioned to obtain employment in the food service industry. When donors like Vermont Smoke and Cure invest in CKA, we see how their investment is transforming lives.
In fiscal year 2014, CKA saw a 91% success rate—with graduating students going on to pursue further education or receiving full-time employment. We hear from our students over and over things like this: “CKA has impacted my life in many significant ways including boosting my confidence and improving my skills and abilities on both a personal and professional level (June 2014 graduate).”
Beyond the classroom, donations from businesses like Vermont Smoke and Cure allow us to create delicious meals for our Vermont neighbors who struggle with hunger. Since CKA began in 2009 the program has produced more than 265,000 servings of food for Vermonters in need.This food is packaged in ready to eat servings, with nutrition labels and preparation instructions.
We hear notes of praise and gratitude from our food shelf customers—many of whom are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, have children, and often struggle to put a healthy meal together—that the food they receive from Community Kitchen Academy makes their lives easier, and gives them piece of mind that they too can provide a healthy meal for their families.
Vermont Smoke and Cure’s commitment to providing great product and making their community a better place doesn’t go unnoticed. The Vermont Foodbank is grateful for their partnership and commitment to our mission of ensuring on one in Vermont goes hungry.