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Eleven BCOC clients successfully complete first ‘Fresh Start’ Culinary Program

The inaugural class of the Bucks “Fresh Start” Culinary Arts Opportunity Program, a partnership between the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) and Bucks County Community College (BCCC), recently completed the nine-week program.

This joint venture assists low-income individuals who are working within BCOC’s Economic Self-sufficiency Program to gain basic culinary techniques for entry-level positions in the food industry. 

Provident Bank Foundation provided grant funding for this first cohort. 

Culinary skills were taught by BCCC Professor/Chef Earl Arrowood in the new, state-of-the-art culinary arts lab at BCCC’s Newtown campus. BCOC self-sufficiency coaches helped students with resumes, interview skills, and other job search techniques.

Every student successfully passed the ServSafe examination certified by the National Restaurant Association.

For the Capstone project, students prepared a complete meal for seniors living at the Charter Arms apartment complex in Warminster.

Over 70 meals were donated and delivered.

Bucks County Community College unveiled its new, 1,370-square-foot culinary arts lab in February and offers a Chef Apprenticeship Associate Degree Program.

BCOC, the county’s lead anti-poverty agency, helps those living in poverty to strategize ways to become economically self-sufficient.

Since leaving poverty almost always includes acquiring additional education/training for jobs that pay a living wage, both BCOC and BCCC are working on creating joint programs to develop new career opportunities for the underemployed.

For more information on the Program, or to contact graduates for potential employment, contact Tammy Schoonover, BCOC’s Director of Community Services, at 215-345-8175, ext. 218,  or e-mail tschoonover@bcoc.org.

PHOTO CAP: Graduates of the Fresh Start Culinary Arts program, with staff from Bucks County Opportunity Council and Chef Earl Arrowood.