Today, the Vermont Foodbank and Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf celebrate the 19th Community Kitchen Academy graduation at the Food Shelf in Burlington. Food writer and recipe developer Tracey IMG_2326Medeiros is the keynote.

Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) prepares underemployed and unemployed Vermonters for careers in the food service industry. Students develop and apply new skills by rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted from grocery stores, restaurants, farm and food service companies. Since its inception, CKA has graduated nearly 181 students, producing and distributing more than 320,000 meal servings since 2009. Over 89% of graduates have been successful in finding employment in the culinary industry and 11% have pursued higher education.

And now students have even more to celebrate post-graduation. Community Kitchen Academy has signed an articulation agreement with Burlington College to offer CKA graduates a formalized path for further education at Burlington College – including transferrable credits and a 20 percent discount in tuition. Burlington College offers a degree in Tourism & Event Management, which can be a next step for CKA graduates. Burlington College joins Community College of Vermont and NECI in offering these same benefits.

IMG_2320Burlington College President, Dr. Carol Moore says “Graduates of the CKA program can easily continue their education, while working, through our flexible program. There is a strong need for a well-trained and educated workforce to support the tourism industry in Vermont. We are proud to be providing access for Vermonters to pursue this career path.”

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with Burlington College and to be able to offer our CKA students yet another opportunity post-graduation,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “Community Kitchen Academy is transforming lives and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of bringing this program to communities around Vermont.”

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.

About Burlington College
Burlington College prepares students to be skillful and reflective practitioners and lifelong learners through shared-responsibility with faculty in crafting their curriculum. Students thrive in small, experiential learning environments in the classroom and in the community, and the College has been recognized as a leader in internship experiences. The College wa