On November 9th, the Vermont Foodbank and Capstone Community Action celebrated the 12th graduating class of students from the Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) program in Barre.
“The Community Kitchen Academy has given me the opportunity to not only learn new skills about culinary arts, but also about other aspects of the business,” says Kristina White, a CKA student who addressed her classmates at their graduation. “It’s been an amazing experience to learn and have fun doing what I enjoy doing.” White was one of nine students graduating.
Kari Bradley, General Manager of the Hunger Mountain Coop, was also a graduation speaker and spoke about lessons he had learned during his career. During the session, the students had enjoyed a visit to the Coop to learn about the member owned multimillion dollar generating operation and the challenges a much larger food business with hundreds of employees faces on a daily basis. They also had an opportunity to see a very busy, professional kitchen in action at the Coop. Partnerships like those the Community Kitchen Academy has enjoyed with the Coop have been key to the program’s success.
Since its inception, Community Kitchen Academy Barre boasts a 91% success rate, which is defined as students graduating and finding employment or going on to further educational opportunities.
About Community Kitchen Academy
Community Kitchen Academy (CKA) is a statewide program of the Vermont Foodbank that operates in partnership with Capstone Community Action in Barre. The Mission of CKA is to prepare 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.