From Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
It’s not every day that shopping for your groceries can make a difference in your community – but Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s A Spoon Full of Hope aims to do just that. Launched in 2018, the product line has gained popularity for its Soup, Honey, and Classic Shortbread Cookies. Now, the social enterprise is introducing three new shortbread cookie flavors – strawberry lemonade, cranberry pistachio, and chai – as well as a new look for its retail brand.
One hundred percent of A Spoon Full of Hope’s proceeds directly support Second Harvest's no-cost 16-week Culinary Training Program, which provides qualified, economically challenged adults with the culinary and life skills training to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
"My life has changed for the better," says Shandra.
Four years ago she was working as a gas station assistant manager. Without the confidence and skills she needed for a sustainable career, she was stuck in a low-paying job with little hope of advancement.
Married with four kids, Shandra decided it was time to invest in her future, and theirs. Shandra reduced her hours at the gas station and her husband took on a second job so she could enroll in Second Harvest's 16-week Culinary Training Program. Available free of charge for qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults, the Program teaches culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
"I began to believe in myself for the first time."
Shandra learned food safety, knife skills, mother sauces and how to cook cuisine from around the world. She also focused on the life skills she needed to be successful, like teamwork, communication, financial literacy and resume writing.
"I tell everyone that it's never too late. If you have a goal, or a dream that you want to do, do it."
Today, Shandra is proud to work a job she loves as the lead breakfast cook at a retirement community. The hours allow her to spend nights and weekends with her family.
"I'm grateful to everyone who has had a role in helping me get to where I am today. Thank you for supporting the Culinary Training Program."
“We’re successfully demonstrating the power of innovation when it comes to hunger relief,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest. “As the first Feeding America network member to launch a multi-product signature food line, Second Harvest is not only committed to remaining competitive in the retail market, but also to providing the opportunity for more people to build employability skills – especially when food service jobs are in such high demand.”
More than 380 students have graduated from Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, which was established in 2013. Of those, more than 95% went right to work or continued their education in the restaurant/catering industry.
Forty-five retailers currently sell A Spoon Full of Hope Tomato Basil Soup; A Spoon Full of Hope Honey: mangrove, orange blossom, palmetto, and wildflower; and A Spoon Full of Hope Classic Shortbread Cookies in their stores. The products can also be purchased online individually, in bulk or as part of a gift basket at www.ASpoonFullofHope.org.
For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and its Culinary Training Program, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (SHFBCF) is a member of Feeding America – the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 550 local nonprofit feeding programs throughout Central Florida. In the past year, with the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank has distributed enough food for 96 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. In addition, Second Harvest’s 16-week culinary program teaches foodservice-based technical, life and employability skills to economically hard-pressed adults at no cost to them. Second Harvest is distributing enough food for a quarter of a million meals every day to the six-county service area. To learn more about SHFBCF, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.
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