Job training opened doors for Maria

Like many in North Carolina, Maria needed a job to help support her family. Speaking English as her second language made her search that much more challenging, and she had been unsuccessful in landing a job. That was until she heard about Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's Culinary Job Training Program. “I needed experience in something to get a job,” Maria said. So Maria signed up for our Culinary Job Training Program to learn a new set of employable skills.

For 11 weeks Maria received hands-on training in food preparation, as well as coaching in life skills and job hunting. Maria became industry certified in food safety – and earned Culinary Job Training Program class valedictorian honors! Outside of the classroom, Maria gained extra experience by working alongside professional chefs from Triangle restaurants preparing meals for IFFS fundraising gala.

Maria with her family and Cooking Matters instructor, Becky Dobosy, at Maria's Culinary Job Training Program graduation

Maria’s husband and daughters also completed a six-week Cooking Matters for Families class, taught by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's Nutrition Education team. They learned tips for cooking at home and how to shop healthy on a budget.

Upon graduating, Chef Terri recommended Maria for a job at Centerplate Catering.

“Before the Culinary Job Training Program I was uncertain, and not confident,” said Maria. “I didn't have any experience to get a job and my English was not good. After the training, I felt confident applying for jobs. I was even offered a job here at Centerplate and another job at the same time! That made me think ‘Wow, I can do this.’”

Thanks to the support of IFFS donors, dozens of adults receive living-wage job training. Please give today to ensure these important programs remain available.


About the Culinary Job Training Program:

Culinary Job Training Program promotes self-sufficiency by addressing a root cause of hunger-lack of income. The program teaches culinary skills to adults experiencing life challenges so they can gain employment in the food service industry. The eleven-week hands-on course is taught by professional chef Terri Hutter and her culinary staff, as well as a case manager who coaches participants in life skills. In addition to learning hands-on cooking techniques and ServSafe food safety procedures, students learn employment skills, stress management, and basic nutrition.

By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: