Family, friends and Greater Chicago Food Depository staff gathered at the Food Depository’s Southwest Side training and distribution center to celebrate the newest Chicago’s Community Kitchens graduates at the Autumn 2010 Graduation Ceremony on October 15. As the culmination of the 14-week foodservice training program, 15 students were honored for their hard work and successful competition of the program.

Graduates overcame early mornings, long commutes—not to mention working on their feet all day in a hot kitchen—to receive their graduation certificates Friday. With the support and encouragement of friends and family, the graduates worked to better themselves while preparing wholesome meals for hungry Chicagoans. During their time in the program, graduates helped to prepare 253,303 meals from scratch, for children and older adults at Food Depository member agencies throughout Cook County.

Event speakers included two outstanding student representatives, Stella Topps and Loren Brown, and Chicago’s Community Kitchens alumni Hector Vergara, who has worked at Chef Mindy Segal’s award-winning Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Restaurant
& Dessert Bar since his graduation a year ago. Festivities concluded with a delicious lunch prepared by current Chicago’s Community Kitchens students and staff. A mouth-watering menu included: ancho chile flank steak, seafood cioppino, roasted squash, delicious salads and freshly baked breads and desserts.

Congratulations to the Autumn 2010 Chicago’s Community Kitchens graduates:
Octavius Barlow, Deborah Borras, Loren Brown, Donell Cline, Carlos Gonzalez, Richard Johnston, Latrice Lee, Shanisha Madison, Jennifer Phillips, Nick Ross, Gita Thomas, Norman Thomas, Estelle Topps, Guadalupe Vavalle and Marquis Wilson.

Check out photos from the graduation ceremony in the Food Depository’s Flickr pool:

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