Community Kitchen is a culinary job-training program for low-income and unemployed adults. Each class trains students in cooking skills, food safety and the life skills needed to acquire and retain a job. Over 80 percent of students graduating secure employment in the food and hospitality industry within a year or less of graduation.
Community Cooking is a nutrition education program for clients of member agencies. The Food Bank offers eight-week classes and one-time workshops featuring live cooking demonstrations and practical advice on how to stretch the household budget by preparing healthy foods at home. Over 2,000 people participate in the program each year.
Community farms grow fresh produce for hungry Rhode Islanders while preserving valuable land. Each of the participating sites is managed by a volunteer coordinator who works with the Food Bank. Throughout the growing season, the volunteer-run farms rely on schools, businesses and civic groups, as well as families and individuals. Last year, community farms contributed more than 80,000 pounds of fresh produce.
The Food Bank currently supports ten food pantries located throughout the state at local schools. The sites serve more than 1,000 young people each month, delivering healthy, nutritious food and snacks that students can eat at school or at home. School-based pantries are located on the grounds of the school to provide an easily accessible source of food assistance to low-income students and their families.
The Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program serves healthy evening meals to children at risk of hunger and provides nutrition education as part of their after-school activities. Meals are prepared daily by the students in the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen culinary job training program or by food service vendors.