Providence Community Meals
Food for 18,000? No problem.
That’s what students from Providence Culinary Training will be saying after they have successfully completed the 13-week culinary school nestled in the back of Second Harvest Food Bank’s large warehouse complex. That’s because in addition to the weeks of knife skills, nutrition education, and learning how to make a perfect mirepoix, students will at some point help out in the Providence Community Meals program as part of their training.
Mashed potatoes and gravy. Carrots in olive oil with fresh herbs. Providence Community Meals is making 18,000 hot, nutritious meals a week to feed local kids, seniors, and folks with disabilities. Students and volunteers work alongside our seasoned chefs to create these meals each morning, delivering them
hot in time for lunch and dinner to senior centers, after-school programs, summer meal sites (in season), and other enrichment programs where we know people at risk of hunger may be.
The program also produces ready-to-heat meals for Second Harvest’s partner agency network as a supplement to the fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meats, and staple food items Second Harvest rescues, inspects, and distributes across 18 counties of Northwest North Carolina every day. Thousands of households utilize these pantries every month to supplement their groceries and make ends meet.
We know that when nearly 18% of our North Carolina neighbors are food insecure--meaning that they don’t have consistent access to healthy, nutritious food--that we need to leverage multiple strategies to get food to people in need. This is especially true for high-risk populations, like growing children and aging seniors.
This is why Second Harvest has teamed up with the City of Winston-Salem’s Think Orange Campaign, CHAMPS (Cities Combating Hunger Through Afterschool and Summer Meals Programs)-a program of the National League of Cities and Food Research Action Center, and Lowes Foods to create Providence Community Meals. This program delivers hot, nutritious prepared meals right to the locations where kids and seniors congregate, taking out any additional barriers between them and the food they need.
Literally, all they need is a fork.
Wedding this program with our successful Providence Culinary Training (PCT) courses only makes sense. PCT students not only earn their diplomas through the program but also get hands-on experience that will follow them into the workplace. What is more, they can graduate knowing they supported a good cause and helped to feed children while they were at it.
If you live within Second Harvest Food Bank's service region, it’s likely you have seen our Providence Community Meals vans headed out around town. You can follow them to meal sites throughout the local area and know that your support of Second Harvest is hard at work, in the form of mashed potatoes and carrots, freshly baked dinner rolls, and, yes, the occasional slice of every kid’s favorite--pizza.