Caridad Community Kitchen resumes culinary training program


TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona’s Caridad Community Kitchen is always busy preparing nutritious meals for Tucson’s most vulnerable, but that’s not all they do.

“I’ve learned a lot here,” said 46-year-old, Amanda Pablo.

The kitchen changed Pablo’s life. Before the pandemic, she graduated from their 10-week culinary training program.

“I experienced homelessness in the past. Now that I’m on the other side, I’m giving back because they helped me out so much,” said Pablo.

The training program was put on hold back in March 2020. This January, they’re bringing it back.

“It teaches all the students who come in basic knife skills, culinary skills, sauces, how to do a prep list, how to just navigate and learn how to be a professional entry-level cook,” said Caridad Community Kitchen Chef, Ismael Rascon.

While program graduates can work many jobs in the culinary industry, Pablo chose to stay at the kitchen. Just this week, she accepted a permanent position as a cook.

“I’m standing here and I never thought I’d be employed, especially by the food bank. I’m employed twice. I’m blessed twice. I work at my church. I learned a lot from this program,” said Pablo.

Rascon has seen the program help so many others succeed, as well.

“I see them come in in the beginning and then watch them learn all these skills. Towards graduation, they just turn into this completely different person,” said Rascon.

To learn more and apply for Caridad Community Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program, click here.