Our Food Service Training Academy (FSTA) exemplifies our commitment to addressing the root cause of hunger – poverty – by providing graduates with marketable job skills that can lead to a living wage.
The free, 15-week intensive culinary and life skills program provides students with the foundation for a better life and teaches them about communication, nutrition and healthy cooking. We started the FSTA in 2000 and have graduated more than 2,500 students with an average job-placement rate exceeding 90 percent.
Students train in a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped commercial kitchen, where they prepare healthy meals for thousands of food insecure children at our Kids Cafes and Summer Nutrition sites. They support FoodBank events and are placed in internships to gain hands-on experience.
FSTA graduates also earn their ServSafe® Certification by participating in the program.
This program is possible due to support from the ADP Foundation, Capital One, Citizens Bank, CME Group Community Foundation, Prudential Foundation, RWJBarnabas Health, ShopRite LPGA Classic, State Street Foundation, United Airlines, and Valley National Bank.
``It is, for all of us, a life-changing program.`` -Marie
``This program offered me the skills that I needed to be able to provide for my family for the rest of my life.`` -Ivonne
``I'm learning something different every day here, and the chefs really teach us how to do things the right way.`` -Jackie