Food prep workers are expensive, even for a nonprofit
There’s no such thing as a free lunch – even the meals handed out at soup kitchens or after-school programs cost something to prepare. When the Free Store Food Pantry in Cincinnati estimated the labor costs of preparing food for their after-hours feeding program for children, they realized there must be a better way.
Solution: provide job skills training in exchange for volunteer labor
The Free Store decided to launch a job skills training program that would prepare low-income youth for valuable careers in culinary arts – and in the process, source free volunteer labor for their after-school program. The Cincinnati Cooks program is a ten-week course that teaches professional life skills in addition to the mechanics of a commercial kitchen. Participants prepare up to 4,500 meals at various sites around the city, and after graduation are fast-tracked into culinary arts jobs. Approximately 90% of the program’s 1,100 students are employed within a year following graduation.
- Free Store Foodbank | Cincinnati Cooks