New food products fund culinary program at Second Harvest Food Bank

- The second harvest food bank is now selling products to help fund their free culinary program. It’s making a difference in the community by helping those who are hungry, learn the skills they need to land jobs.

“I love what I do,” Shaneka Jimerson said.

Jimerson loves preparing meals at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

“Making sure children are not hungry, because at one point my kids were hungry,” she said. 

Jimerson has come a long way since the days she and her three children were homeless.

“We were sleeping in and out of our car when the car caught on fire,” she said. “American Red Cross reached out to myself and offered me the opportunity to come to the Second Harvest Culinary training program.”

That training program helps people learn their way around a kitchen so that they can land a job and provide for their families.

“We don’t want to just keep feeding the lines, we want to find different ways to help shorten the line,” said Nancy Brumbaugh, the food service director. 

Over the past five years, the free culinary training program has graduated 250 students like Jimerson, who have since landed jobs in the industry.

“Did my 14 weeks and I was blessed with a job here,” Jimerson said. 

But this is only the beginning. The Second Harvest Food Bank wants to enroll more students in their free culinary program for years to come. 

So with the help from the chefs in the kitchen, the food bank is now rolling out its own signature product line to fund the program. 

“There’s a lot of different ways people can fight hunger, and now there’s a way that people can enjoy something that’s really tasty, really delicious, and also know that it’s helping to transform a life,” said Greg Higgerson, Vice President of development for the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

It’s called a Spoon Full of Hope. 

Products include a tomato-basil soup, shortbread cookies, honey and boxed lunches. All can be ordered online at ASpoonFullOfHope.org.

The charity is working to get the products in grocery chains. 

“My life has changed for the better,” Jimerson said. “I smile a lot more. That’s part of my outfit. I feel like I’m a better provider now.”

Making a difference with just a spoon full of hope. 

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