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Rachel Moss, CEFS

Judy Stermer, Vermont Foodbank

Burlington, VT—Senator Bernie Sanders (invited) will address the first graduating class of Community Kitchen in Burlington, a program of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf (CEFS) and the Vermont Foodbank.

A program of Feeding America – the national network of food banks, Community Kitchen is a 14-week culinary job training program that prepares unemployed and underemployed men and women for sustainable careers in the food service industry.

On Friday at 2:00 PM, the first class of Community Kitchen students will graduate.  Of the seven women who have successfully completed the program, two of the graduates have secured full-time employment and the remaining five have been accepted to pursue higher education through a certification program at the New England Culinary Institute. The graduation ceremony will be held at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf at 228 North Winooski Ave. in Burlington.

“We are thrilled to be graduating our first Community Kitchen class in Burlington,” said Brian Dermondy, professional chef and Community Kitchen instructor.  “This group of students has shown heart and dedication and has completed this 14-week program with marketable skills that have landed them jobs or enrollment into a prestigious culinary program.”

“The success of Community Kitchen is due to the partnership and collaboration of numerous community investors.  The Vermont Foodbank and the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf have teamed up with Vermont Adult Learning, Sodexho Corporation, and the state of Vermont to offer a well rounded curriculum that has proven successful for these students, as well as to provide them with the tools to succeed in the future,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO.

Funding for Community Kitchen is provided in part by a Next Generation (Act 46) Grant from the Vermont Department of Labor.  The first 14-week session began in January 2009.  CEFS and the Vermont Foodbank have secured funding for two more 14 week sessions this year.

The Vermont Foodbank and the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf launched this graduating session in January of 2009, bringing this successful program model to Burlington for the first time. There will be two additional sessions this year.


About the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf works to alleviate hunger by feeding people and cultivating opportunities. As the largest direct service emergency food provider in Vermont, CEFS serves over 11,300 people each year. Visit www.feedingchittenden.org for more information.

About the Vermont Foodbank

Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of 270 food pantries, soup kitchen, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly 6.5 million pounds of food to the more than 66,000 needy Vermonters who request charitable food assistance.  The Vermont Foodbank is a nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.  For facts and figures on hunger and poverty, to sign-up to receive our newsletter, to find a food shelf in your community, and to learn about the Federal Nutrition Programs, visit us on the web at www.vtfoodbank.org

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