FoodWorks Culinary Training Program is Transforming Lives in Maryland
FoodWorks, the Maryland Food Bank’s 12-week culinary training program, offers a fresh start to individuals in Maryland. During the program, students develop job readiness skills, receive their ServSafe Manager Certification, and get workplace training — all while converting fresh produce into healthy meals for our hungry neighbors.
Life is funny sometimes. You never know what’s going to be an opportunity for you to help yourself or to help somebody else.
My name is Deanna Clark. My name is Jamal Braxton. My name is Olin Fisher-Bey.
And I am a student for the FoodWorks Program at the Maryland Food Bank.
I have loved cooking since I was a child. The second my mom left the house, I was on the stove, trying not to burn anything because I wanted to impress her when she came home.
Food is definitely something that brings my family together. Growing up, we moved around a lot from house to house, apartment to apartment.
We never really stayed in one place. I used to spend a lot of my life here, there. When I first moved to Baltimore, I used to go to food banks to receive food until I was able to establish myself. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we started looking at food entirely different in my house in support of her recovery. So, that’s really important to me.
When I found out about the program, I was really blown away. I didn’t know that they were serving Maryland in such a huge capacity. I didn’t know we extended into Western Maryland, Eastern Maryland, Southern Maryland. And not just send you home with a basket of food. Here, you definitely get the sense that it’s a lot bigger than that.
I used to go to Shady Spring PAL Center, which is one of the sites that they provide meals for, and now I’ve come full circle because I’m providing the meals that I used to eat.
It’s always uplifting to know that you are doing something that matters in the lives of other people.
Knowing that someone, who I may never even meet, they’re on the receiving end of what I’m doing here each and every day. It just gives me a lot of pride, knowing how many people that I’m serving.
I’m excited to take the skills that I’ve already learned here at FoodWorks and show them, “Hey, I’m prepared to hit the ground running.”
Food is history, food is culture, food is life.
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