New Jersey Reentry Corp. announces culinary program in partnership with Brookdale, Fulfill

The New Jersey Reentry Corp., Brookdale Community College and Fulfill, the food bank serving Monmouth and Ocean counties, announced the launch of the Culinary Training Program on Monday for justice-involved individuals.

The Culinary Training Program is designed to provide court-involved persons with the principles of food preparation through classroom instruction and laboratory experiences.

“Court-involved individuals often face significant barriers to employment, which leaves them and their families vulnerable to food insecurity. Building practical job skills through this program will not only help participants put food on the table, it will position them for a brighter future. I’m proud for Fulfill to partner with Brookdale Community College and N.J. Reentry to offer a program that is well aligned with our mission to end hunger,” Fulfill CEO and President Triada Stampas said.

The program will be offered at Brookdale Community College and Fulfill from Monday until Oct. 2. After the academic course hours are completed, there will be a follow-up hands-on apprenticeship training at Fulfill to improve the student’s skill set.

State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Ocean Twp.) stated: “The curriculum emphasizes practical skills, including measuring, identifying tools and equipment, and terms and concepts. Students will prepare stocks, soups and sauces as the foundation for cooking competencies needed in more advanced food preparation courses. This program also includes the nationally recognized ServSafe Food Manager Certification.”

“There are many benefits to engaging in workforce development programs, like the Culinary Training Program, for court-involved persons. The students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to develop marketable culinary skills over the course of the training that will open up employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for them. Students will also gain numerous transferable skills that extend beyond cooking, like teamwork, time management, attention to detail, creativity and problem-solving. We at Brookdale are thrilled to partner with N.J. Reentry and Fulfill to develop and offer this important program for the community,” Dean Susan Pagano of Brookdale Community College said.

NJRC Executive Director Jim McGreevey stated: “We are particularly indebted to (Monmouth County Commissioner) Chairman (Thomas) Arnone for providing the linkage between NJRC, Brookdale Community College, the One Stop and Fulfill. Through the leadership of Sens. Gopal and (Declan) O’Scanlon, NJRC looks to build upon our past successful efforts in responding to the needs of the local Monmouth economy. Monmouth County is a premier hospitality and vacation destination during the summer months. With Brookdale’s strong reputation for professional accreditation, we offer court-involved persons and veterans an opportunity to rebuild their lives. Thank you to the Monmouth County leadership.”