The Soups and Sweets culinary training program of Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Jacques Pepin Foundation (JPF). A cornerstone of the JFCS Disability Services Department, Soups and Sweets prepares adults with disabilities for careers in the food service industry. The six-month program includes 200 hours of classroom-based and hands-on food service training in a commercial kitchen, as well as weekly work readiness classes addressing a variety of topics including teamwork, attendance and punctuality, grooming and hygiene, and workplace safety. Students also participate in the ServSafe Food Handler Course, a nationally-recognized food and beverage safety training and certification program—an important addition to their résumés.
The JPF supports culinary education for people from all walks of life, following world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin’s passion for cooking and teaching. Its mission is realized, in part, by giving grants to important local culinary training programs nationwide. The JPF received a record 36 grant applications in the first half of 2023 and while all of the applicants had compelling stories of great success and demonstrated their continuing need for additional funding, ten organizations were chosen to receive grants.
Soups and Sweets is in great company among its fellow awardees: MY House Mat-Su Homeless Youth Center (Wasilla, Alaska); Salvation Army’s MA Culinary Training Program (Dorchester, Massachusetts); House of Bah Foundation “Eat ‘N’ Talk Africa” Culinary Training (Omaha, Nebraska); Genesis Center Culinary Hub of Providence (Providence, Rhode Island); Kitchen of Purpose (Arlington, Virginia); Stone Soup (Portland, Oregon); Homeward Bound of Marin Fresh Starts Culinary Academy (Novato, California); Inspiration Corporation Inspiration Kitchens (Chicago, Illinois); and Philabundance Community Kitchen (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Each program will receive $10,000 in grant funding along with JPF-branded “We Are All Equal in the Eyes of the Stove” aprons, lifetime JPF group membership, and an invitation to submit a cooking video for the JPF members’ video recipe book, “Cook with Jacques Pépin & Friends.”
“JFCS is so honored to receive a grant from the Jacques Pepin Foundation,” said Executive Director Raechel Hammer. “Soups and Sweets provides transformative support to our community, ensuring that graduates will excel and succeed not only in employment but throughout their lives. These funds will provide 16 individuals living in Southern New Jersey with culinary training that fits their unique needs, so that they can obtain and maintain high quality, skills-based employment in food service. We are absolutely thrilled to have this support!”
To learn more about Soups and Sweets, visit jfcssnj.org/soups-and-sweets-culinary-training/