Our grantee Food For Life (FFL) kicks off their summer program this week. We first came to know the leader of FFL, Marissa, back when she applied to our program. Marissa is a former staff member of a large non-profit, but she made a career change to pursue her passion for food by attending L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD with the intent of combining great food with job training, life skills development, and community building. After having worked in some of the Washington area’s best restaurants and leading culinary technique classes for Williams-Sonoma, she used her skills and passion to create FFL.
Food For Life provides unemployed youth (generally ages 18-23) with culinary training as both a career-building and life development tool. The organization also sells gourmet meals prepared by the students in order to generate revenue to support the training program. During July and early August, FFL will join as a partner of the 2013 DC Summer Youth Employment Program (DC SYEP) — an initiative of the DC Department of Employment Services that provides employment training for thousands of DC youth. From July 1st – August 9th, FFL will host a cohort of DC youth ages 18-21 in the FFL kitchen, where they will:
- gain exposure to the exciting career of the culinary arts,
- earn money and gain meaningful work experience, and
- learn and develop the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in life.
This is FFL’s second year of partnering with DC SYEP, and we’re looking forward to some seriously delicious fun! The students will dish up gourmet dinners each Tuesday and Thursday and you can check out the menu and the support the program by ordering a meal or two.