What impact have you had?
The RFS program utilizes several metrics to determine its outcomes. We evaluate our graduation rate, ServSafe pass rate and our placement rate when possible. We do not guarantee jobs, however, we make every attempt to assist in the process and follow the progress of our graduates. We graduate between 40 and 50 students a year from the training program. In 2008, our first year of operation we graduated 19 students and in 2009, we graduated 53 students. We estimate our current job placement rate at 64%. Prior to the marked deepening of the recession in December, 2008, we had a higher placement rate, and we expect that when the job market recovers it will again increase.
We teach safe food handling and all students take the managers’ level National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Examination. We had a 91% pass rate in 2009.
In 2009 the New Hampshire Food Bank recovered over 200,000 lbs of meat that would have otherwise been wasted. The culinary program created meals with over 8,000 lbs of rescued meat and the remainder was distributed frozen to NHFB member agencies. The recovery provides the kitchen with all of the high quality protein needed to make meals, and also prevents food from entering the waste stream.
In 2008, RFS served 7,960 meals to needy children at the Manchester Boys and Girls Club. In 2009, RFS served a total of 29,872 meals – 19,088 to the Manchester Boys and Girls Club and 10,784 to other agencies.
RFS has been in operation for two years and we are in the process of evaluating all aspects of the operation so that we can continue to be successful during these challenging economic times. Building and maintaining strong community partnerships and relationships are the key to our success. Our Development Team and our Recipe for Success staff are out in the community serving on committees, speaking to groups and working with partners who can help us with donations of food, equipment and cash to assist us in meeting the operations needs of the program.
We seek in-kind donations of products and services that will aid us in sustaining the operations of the program. We secured grants to ensure programming needs were met during the first two years of operation. Small scale catering sustains a small portion of the program, and offers an opportunity for earned income growth.
We expect continued support from our community partners, local foundations, and grant making organizations who donate the food we use in the program. We also anticipate continued support from the company that provides our linen and laundry services. Together these community partnerships provide savings of over $20,000 per year. We will continue to apply for grant, sponsorship, and underwriting funding for student expenses. We project the catering services to grow appropriately and provide additional revenue of approximately $10,000 per year.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
Over the next three years we hope to double the program from 40-50 graduates a year to 80-100. As the economy recovers we hope to see the placement rate increase to 80%.
Our program of work for FY 2011 (April 1, 2010 – March 30, 2011) projects level programming, which includes graduating 40-50 individuals. We plan to apply for Workforce Investment Act training funds which may bring in an additional $35,000 - $50,000 per year. It is critical that the food donations and linen service continue. The budget for FY 2010 was $242,000.
Prior to budget development for FY 2012 (April 1, 2011 – March 30, 2012) we will assess the economic recovery and the commitment from our current community partners. If salaries are secured we will evaluate the landscape to begin expanding the size of the program. This will, however, require a second or per diem Chef Instructor which will increase operational costs. A larger class size, or more training classes per year will increase our capacity to provide more catering services as one avenue to sustain the program.
If the economic climate in FY12 cannot support doubling the program we will assess prior to FY 13 budget development and manage growth until the economy can support expansion.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
The Recipe for Success Culinary Job Training Program at the New Hampshire Food Bank has been in operation since May, 2008 and has graduated 82 individuals since its inception. We have met our goals to graduate 40-50 students per year and we have a steady stream of applicants to the program and enjoy a strong reputation with social service agencies within the greater Manchester area whose caseworkers also refer applicants to the program.
Secure funding and in-kind support from private donors, the local business community and charitable organizations is crucial for the success of running the program. A prolonged recession will impact job opportunities for certain food service positions, however, a unique characteristic of the RFS program is the ability to respond to fluctuations in the industry. For example, if restaurants started closing and limited hiring, we would steer more of our students to long term healthcare positions.