Culinary arts program for homeless New Yorkers - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Culinary arts program for homeless New Yorkers

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Christmas Eve dinner is just about ready to be served. But it's not so much about what's in the meal here as it is about the people who prepare it. This kitchen is inside the HELP USA shelter on Randall's Island. Many of the people cooking in it are homeless.

Frank Lopez entered the culinary arts program at the shelter earlier this year. Now he's on track to complete the training and get his food handler's permit. He said his goal is to become a chef and he's going to do whatever it takes.

Daniel Farrell runs the programs for HELP USA, which is funded by both the city and private donations. He said HELP USA's ultimate goal is the help people find a path out of homelessness.

In just the last couple of years, about 200 shelter residents have completed this program. Many of them have gone on to full-time jobs.

Linda Wolfe is a program success story. She now has her own apartment and is employed by HELP USA. She said she graduated with a 96 average and has a certificate, a diploma, and knife skills. The food she and the others cook for the shelter residents each day tastes as good as it looks.

"It is a shock when come to a homeless shelter, which we are in, and see the type of food we cook, and you would be like 'Wow,'" Donnell Dingle said. "I never expected it. So I came into this culinary program."

http://www.helpusa.org/

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