We’re excited to share that we’ve started interviewing potential candidates for our next session of culinary training, which will begin September 17!
Preserving Local Harvest, Transforming Local Youth
Harvest Kitchen is Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s food-industry training program for youth ages 16-19 involved with the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Our trainees work to create value-added products using ingredients sourced from local farms, and gain retail experience selling their goods at farmers markets and in our local foods café.
Harvest Kitchen is a 20-week program offered Monday through Friday in two sessions:
- Morning session for out-of-school youth: 10:30am to 1:30pm
- Afternoon session as after-school programming: 3:30 to 6:30pm
Who Benefits from the Program?
Harvest Kitchen economically benefits two distinct populations in Rhode Island: the youth involved with the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the 600+ farms in RI that continually seek new markets for their produce.
Our trainees learn a wide range of culinary skills in the program, all of which are desirable to prospective employers. In addition, trainees experience the reality of employment while in a safe, structured environment.
Eligibility & Enrollment
- We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, gender identity, marital/parental status, or disability.
- Applicants must be 16–19 years old and committed to working with the Harvest Kitchen Program Director and DCYF Harvest Kitchen Liaison.
- Juvenile Probation, RITS culinary teachers, social workers, and other service agencies working with youth on probation or open to DCYF Child Welfare Services can refer youth to Harvest Kitchen by contacting our Program Director or Assistant Director.
- Applicants will be interviewed by Harvest Kitchen staff.
Hours of Commitment
15 weeks include:
- Basic culinary training
- ServSafe lessons & certification
- Enrichment opportunities
- Retail sales experience
- Resume building and job application assistance
- Supported internship with an offsite employer
5 weeks include:
What You Will Learn
- Orientation to food service industry
- Knife skills
- Kitchen and food-handling safety
- Care and operation of kitchen equipment
- Basic methods of cooking and food preservation techniques
- Weights and measurements
- Food inventory and ordering
- Retail sales training
- Sales and marketing for the products created
Portfolio, Certification & Awards
During the program, trainees will work toward developing a Harvest Kitchen Trainee Portfolio. Upon completion of the program, Harvest Kitchen holds an awards ceremony. Trainees receive:
- Certificate of Completion
- ServSafe Food Handlers Certification
- Awards acknowledging participant strengths
Our trainees are compensated for their work at Harvest Kitchen through a stipend payment based on attendance, participation, and completed benchmarks.
Harvest Kitchen Partners
Harvest Kitchen is offered in partnership between Farm Fresh Rhode Island and the State of Rhode Island. Harvest Kitchen is a nonprofit, made possible by funding from our generous donors.
For questions or to refer youth to Harvest Kitchen, please contact:
Chef Jen Stott
Assistant Program Director