Chicago's Community Kitchens
Since its inception in 1998, Chicago’s Community Kitchens has been providing foodservice job training to unemployed and underemployed adults in Cook County who have a passion for "life in the kitchen" and a will to achieve entry-level employment in the foodservice industry. Students create nearly 2,000 meals a day that are delivered to Food Depository Kids Cafes, providing nourishing meals to hungry children after school, older adults who need food assistance and older adult meal programs.
Program Eligibility Requirements
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a minimum sixth-grade proficiency in math and reading
- Be drug and alcohol free – applicants need to be clean for at least three months prior to acceptance into the program
- Demonstrate a real and continuing interest in developing a career in the foodservice industry
- Successfully complete the application, basic skills test, drug and alcohol assessment and interview
General Program Information
- Hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art industrial kitchen while preparing thousands of nutritious meals for children and older adults throughout Cook County
- Employment and life skills classes
- Fifteen-hour ServSafe® sanitation course
- Professional resume and letter of recommendation signed by staff
- Textbook and study materials
- Transportation assistance
- Two-week internship in a commercial kitchen such as a corporate cafeteria, hospital, hotel, catering company or restaurant during the final weeks of the program
- Students are tracked for one year and eligible for job placement assistance during that period
- Breakfast and lunch for the duration of the training period
- Chicago’s Community Kitchens program is free of charge to all participants
- This 14-week training program meets Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- The application and screening process is conducted on a monthly basis
- Students are not paid for their participation in the program
- Chicago’s Community Kitchens training program is taught in English
- Trainings are conducted in the Food Depository facility
Applying to the Program
There are two ways to request more detailed application information:
- Submit a request online.
- Contact our Recruiting and Training Manager at 773-843-5414.
Supporting Chicago's Community Kitchens
If you or your organization is interested in providing a financial donation to support Chicago's Community Kitchens, call Individual Giving at 773-247-FOOD (3663). If your company is interested in making a food donation to Chicago's Community Kitchens or the Food Depository's Food Rescue program, call Food Resources at 773-843-5418.
Guests of Chicago's Community Kitchens
Guest presenters and chefs have made an important impact on our students. Individuals who share their knowledge of culinary career paths to aid our students with their advancement are contributers to the success of our program.
Employment Partners: Internship Sites
Current and past Chicago's Community Kitchens students have enjoyed internships at the following employment partners: