Puerto Rican Evacuees Among Graduates Learning Culinary and Life Skills
Twenty-eight students, including three Hurricane Maria evacuees from Puerto Rico, graduated from Second Harvest Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program on Monday, May 21, 2018. The program offers hands-on food preparation and kitchen training and provides the skills needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
I left Puerto Rico not knowing what was ahead,” said Yamil Davila. “I heard about Second Harvest Food Bank and its Culinary Training Program when I arrived at Orlando International Airport. I knew it was God’s plan. At home, I did most of the cooking and always wanted to learn more. Here was my opportunity to do something I enjoy and create a new start for my family.
Davila has found employment with Publix Supermarkets. Other graduates have been hired by area resorts, attractions and restaurants, such as Hyatt Regency Hotel, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Rainforest Café, Universal City Walk Voodoo Doughnuts and Olive Garden.
Students in the Culinary Training Program spend part of their learning in a classroom where they are taught career and life skills. They also receive employment assistance. Second Harvest began the program five years ago at no cost to students. Since then, it has provided training for 231 people and each one of those graduates have gone on to a career in the food industry.
“We are filled with pride on graduation day,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “Each graduate has been working hard to pursue their goal. We thank our local supporters for these moments because they help make it possible to feed hope.”