Cooking Up a Better Tomorrow

Jessica Salvas

Jessica Salvas in the Community Kitchen

After being laid off from a string of short-term jobs, Jessica Salvas heard about the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program.

At the time, she was collecting unemployment but wanted to do better for herself.

“I wanted to break the cycle of poverty, homelessness and lack of direction that I had in my life.”

She applied to and was accepted into the free 14-week culinary job training program.

“My time as a student was intense and life-changing. I carry the lessons I learned through Community Kitchen every day.”

Upon graduation, Jessica earned a good job with an assisted living facility where she worked hard and learned how to manage a kitchen completely on her own. Since then, she has moved on to work at several local restaurants.

“When I came to Community Kitchen I was overwhelmed by poverty and feeling hopeless. Now I’m making the most money I’ve ever made in my life at a job where I learn new things every day and am really proud of the food we put out.”

Recently, Jessica returned to the Community Kitchen to speak to the graduating glass and give them some advice from her experience. The most valuable lesson that Jessica learned from her time in Community Kitchen:

“Don’t give up because you never know what is waiting for you around the corner.”

Read more advice from our Community Kitchen graduates.