EHCC’s vision is to build and operate a fully-licensed, certified commercial kitchen that will create a one-stop training solution and job program for under and unemployed Calvert residents.
The newest project being undertaken by End Hunger in Calvert County, Inc. (EHCC) of Huntingtown is construction and capital equipping of a culinary training kitchen. the group received authorization for a $200,000 bond bill for the project in the just-ended Maryland General Assembly session.
According to a bond bill fact sheet, EHCC’s vision is to build and operate a fully-licensed, certified commercial kitchen that will create a one-stop training solution and job program for under and unemployed Calvert residents.
It’s a proven model that has been successfully implemented in the Foodworks program through the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore. eirs is a 12-week culinary skills training program with 100 students enrolled. To date, 48 have graduated with a 100% employment rate, with a wait list to hire current students upon graduation.
One use for the kitchen is for job skills training, as well as running a food preparation certication program in partnership with both the College of Southern Maryland and the Calvert County Public School System. At the same time, they plan to forge relationships with restaurant owners and other employers in Calvert County who may want to hire
graduates. The Calvert kitchen is expected to provide culinary training to about 60
students a year.
They will also use the kitchen for Healthy Cooking Classes to train food pantry clients how to prepare inexpensive healthy meals. The long-term impact of improving the diets of lower-income families includes lowering health care costs, emergency room costs, and obesity rates. The classes would be oered for free.
The kitchen would also be a food processing center to process and store fresh produce and high-protein meats for use during the off-season months.
Total cost of the project is estimated at over $2 million. EHCC will seek $1.3 million in corporate and private donations, $150,000 in in-kind contributions, and $350,000 in federal and private grants and foundations in addition to the $200,000 from the bond bill. Its projected operating budget will be about $100,000 a year.
It’s hoped that construction could begin next year with the kitchen completed in January
EHCC counts as its partners eleven County food pantries, 25 churches, over 50 businesses, every County public school and many private schools.
Having distributed 450,000 pounds of free food to food pantries in 2011, EHCC also launched the Farms of End Hunger project, with partnerships formed with local farmers to grow, harvest and distribute 175,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries, all free of charge.