After a studious week of getting to know each other and completing their ServSafe food handler certification in record time (!), our newest class of culinary recruits finally stepped into the kitchen this week — hairnets and all!
Our trainees are 16 to 19-year-olds referred to us through the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Through a 15-week curriculum followed by a 5-week paid internship, our trainees gain hands-on kitchen and job readiness skills, as well as mentorship to help prepare for and enter the workforce.
This week, the class has eagerly picked up introductory knife skills and got to work slicing and dicing some delicious peaches. They also learned to make stewed tomatoes, both for sale in our Pawtucket cafe and at local farmers markets — and to enjoy themselves on some perfectly crafted calzones. We all agreed they were much better than “Hot Pockets”!
In order to deepen our understanding of Farm Fresh RI’s goals, this week we talked about food justice in our communities and our personal relationships with food. It shocked us to learn that in the neighborhood around Harvest Kitchen, 67 percent of people live below the poverty level.
We look forward to visiting Farm Fresh RI’s office and Market Mobile packhouse next week to learn more about our organization as a whole, as well as foundational local businesses.