FSTA Provides A Second Chance

What do a former college professor, mother of two and halfway house resident have in common?

The Food Service Training Academy is giving them all a second chance.

For some students, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s 16-week program is an opportunity for a career change or a chance to follow their dreams. For others, it allows them to move away from a troubled past and better their lives.

The curriculum involves cooking, menu planning, nutrition, safe food handling, life skills and job placement assistance.

The students prepare food for CFBNJ’s meal programs, including Kids Café, which serves 2,300 kids in afterschool programs every week. They learn what it takes to succeed as a sous chef when they lead the kitchen for a day. They get a taste of the restaurant business through the a la carte experience. They prepare food for Stone Soup, the FoodBank’s catering division. They understand how the industry works through internships. They enhance their communication in life skills class.

Alumni agree that the program trained them well and that their employers know they can count on FSTA graduates. Current students acknowledge what they have learned within the last 10 weeks and look forward to what remains in the final six.

The consensus: The FSTA enhances culinary and life skills, prepares for the industry and provides a support system.

The job-training program’s 45th class graduates Wednesday, Feb. 3.

For more information about the FSTA, click here.

And, click here for students’ stories.