Second Harvest graduates culinary class


ORLANDO, Fla. - It's a special day for seven new graduates of the Second Harvest food bank's new culinary school.

They're the first class to finish a program that takes people out of soup kitchen lines and gives them a new career in the kitchen.

One grad will stay in the kitchen where they learned the craft. John Carroll has been hired by Second Harvest food bank.

"This is just a beginning. Going through this program has given me a foundation to understand what I have to do and where I want to go," Carroll said.

In fact, all the grads either have jobs already or have multiple companies competing for them. The day was big enough that Sen. Bill Nelson said personal congratulations.

"People who were down on their luck now have a skill that is salable and they are in demand at all of these high-end restaurants around here," Nelson said.

The program doesn't end with the inaugural class. A new class will soon start the free program that culinary schools normally charge thousands of dollars for.

Students said they get more than just cooking skills. Carroll said he got a "sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that I started something and I finished it."

The new class of students is about to begin and because the first class learned so quickly, the program was accelerated to 12 weeks instead of 16 weeks.