A few years ago, I found myself looking for a job and my grandmother told me about a Culinary Job Training Program through Second Helpings, a community kitchen in Indianapolis that accepts donated and overstocked food then prepares it for distribution to hungry people in the community. I already had experience cooking in a restaurant, but the Culinary Job Training Program allowed me to further develop my technical skills to set me up for a successful culinary career.
After completing the 10-week Culinary Job Training program, Second Helpings offered me a job. I got to work in the kitchen, taking food donated from wholesalers, retailers and restaurants to create hot, nutritious meals for people in our community. I also trained our kitchen’s volunteers, picked up donated food from area businesses and dropped off the prepared meals to community centers, shelters and other non-profits. I’ve always had a passion for helping people and enjoyed my time working there and being able to give back to my community.
After almost four years with Second Helpings, I wanted to continue to grow my culinary career and took a job with The Capital Grille. Coincidentally, The Capital Grille actually donates food on a weekly basis to Second Helpings through its Harvest program. To date, The Capital Grille in Indianapolis has donated more than 31,000 pounds of food to Second Helpings since their partnership began in 2011.
Now, as a line cook at The Capital Grille in Indianapolis, I get to see many people I used to work with during our weekly exchanges, and I still volunteer with Second Helpings. I have loved sharing with my fellow team members more about Second Helpings and the impact that our weekly food donations have. I can explain to them where the food goes, who it benefits and how it is used.
I have really enjoyed working at The Capital Grille and how my job allows me to still benefit Second Helpings. I hope to keep developing my culinary skills and continue to work my way up in the restaurant. I’m so grateful for the Second Helpings Culinary Job Training Program and for the opportunities I’ve had at The Capital Grille.
Click here to learn more about Second Helpings and its Culinary Job Training Program.
By: Anthony Perry, Line Cook, The Capital Grille