Philabundance is the largest hunger relief organization in greater Philadelphia, working with 365 local partners to distribute over 26 million pounds of food annually. But food distribution is only one way Philabundance addresses hunger in its nine-county service area. Recognizing the importance of job training and living wages in long-term solutions to hunger, Philabundance launched the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) in 2000 in order to to create economic opportunities for adults with low- to no-income.
PCK provides hands-on culinary training and certification to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to get jobs in the commercial food industry, as well as the life skills to help them achieve a fresh start. PCK students participants also help prepare nutritious meals for those in need, honing their cooking skills while giving back to the community and furthering Philabundance’s mission.
But getting a culinary job takes more than good training, it’s a combination of knowing the right people, showcasing skills, and getting real world experience. To support participants in their transition from the classroom to the workplace, Philabundance created PCKatering to provide job opportunities for program graduates. PCKatering is used by several large companies in the area, and program grads earn invaluable experience and living wages while catering for and connecting with some of the largest businesses in the city.
PCK and PCKatering are exciting examples of the ways food banks and food providers are working creatively with their communities to nourish people now and equipping people with the skills and support to provide for themselves and their families for years to come.