What The Freestore Foodbank Is About
One in six neighbors in the Tri-State area is at risk of hunger. We work year-round to help address the need. At the Freestore Foodbank, we see food as a vehicle for a larger conversation; it helps us to connect our neighbors to programs and resources aimed at creating stability and self-reliance. One of these programs is Cincinnati COOKS!
What is Cincinnati COOKS!?
Cincinnati COOKS! is a free culinary job training program. During the 10-week course, students learn the mechanics of a commercial kitchen, as well as professional and life skills to ensure success in the food service industry and in their personal lives. Course topics include: food safety, food inventory and storage, and basic nutrition and knife skills. Students work with donated and purchased food in the Rosenthal Community Kitchen, located inside the Jeff and Darlene Anderson Family at 1141 Central Parkway.
Learning Job Skills And Feeding Hungry Kids
As our Cincinnati COOKS! students learn valuable culinary skills, they are also making a difference in the lives of hungry children. Most of the snacks and meals prepared by Cincinnati COOKS! students are served at Kids Cafe, our after-school feeding program for school-age children. With the support of Cincinnati COOKS!, we are able to provide up to 4,500 Kids Cafe meals each week at more than a dozen school sites.
“I took away skills from Cincinnati COOKS! that I can use for the rest of my life,” said one COOKS! graduate. “Cooking is something that I enjoy and that I can make a living doing it. This is my future and I find it very uplifting.”
Following graduation from Cincinnati COOKS!, students are eligible to enroll in our Second Course advanced program. The eight-week course provides higher skills training for management opportunities and employment in fine dining restaurants.
Cincinnati COOKS! and Second Course graduates can further their education at Cincinnati State to earn their Kitchen Management certificate through the College of Business Technology.
Enroll in Cincinnati COOKS!
Since the program began in 2001, more than 1,100 students have graduated from Cincinnati COOKS! Approximately 90% of students are employed a year following graduation. Classes take place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. A new class starts every five weeks. Please see the rotation schedule and the print application.
- Be 18 or older
- Be drug and alcohol free
- Come from a low income household
- Strong desire for food service industry career
- Contact 513-482-7298