Barclays presented a check for $125,000 to help support the Food Bank of Delaware’s workforce development initiative, Delaware Food Works, as part of the graduation celebration of the 59th class of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

Funding will support the Delaware Food Works programming including The Culinary School and LOGIC — Logistics, Operations, General Warehousing and Inventory Control — as well as to support a collaborative partnership with The Challenge Program in Wilmington to provide handcrafted furniture made by at-risk youth for the food bank’s new headquarters in Newark. Barclays has supported the food bank’s workforce development initiatives through its Connect with Work program since 2008.

Graduates are Romaine Barnes, Curtis Butler, Glenn Coleman, Jada Coleman, Carolyn Joyner, Keyonia Laws, Jason McLeish, Sade Tatman, DaQwan Vincent and Bernard Woods.

Students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their skills both in and outside the kitchen. From proper knife handling techniques to ServSafe certification and completing a two-week paid work experience, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry. Guest speakers and field trips have rounded out the formal training program.

Students’ tuition was funded through multiple sources, including Barclays, Capital One, Chase and Comenity Bank, the Veterans Administration and the Delaware Department of Labor.

Students have landed employment at Ted’s Montana Grill, Fusion Spice Bar and Grill and restaurant associates at JPMorgan Chase.

After the ceremony, graduates served guests a lunch buffet that included roasted chicken, sweet corn crab soup, crusted salmon with pineapple mango salsa, macaroni and cheese and apple spice cake.

The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry, and second, these newly developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

For more, visit fbd.org/the-culinary-school.