Spectrum helps Foodlink fellows with virtual learning

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Participants in the Foodlink Career Fellowship, a yearlong culinary training program and state-registered cook apprenticeship, were able to continue their progress toward their career goals with help from Spectrum’s recent $5,000 donation for new laptops. 

While most of the training takes place daily within the Foodlink Community Kitchen, the laptops allowed fellows to complete online coursework and stay in touch with one another at home, when needed.

“The fellowship program had to pivot during the pandemic to not only assist our kitchen with an increased demand for meals for local students, but also to provide flexible learning environments for our fellows,” said Jes Scannell, director of career empowerment initiatives. “This donation gave us that flexibility so they could continue to learn, thrive and serve our community.”

Foodlink’s newest workforce development initiative began in 2018 and has ushered through two graduating classes, with the third class about halfway through the program. It accepts nominations from community partners that work with individuals who experienced barriers to sustainable employment. The fellowship’s fourth class will launch this summer.

Members of the past two classes have been on the front lines of Foodlink’s pandemic response. Since mid-March of last year, Foodlink’s kitchen has prepared more than 850,000 meals for local students.

“Achieving equity and equal opportunity is essential to the future of Rochester,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “The Foodlink Career Fellowship culinary program is an important effort toward this goal. It takes our businesses, nonprofits and government working together to deliver more jobs; safer, more vibrant neighborhoods; and greater educational opportunities.”

Stock photo.