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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Community Culinary School Of Northwestern Ct

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Congregate Meals, Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Food, Food Programs, Job Training

Mission: The Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT provides culinary and life skills training to unemployed and underemployed adults preparing them for positions, with a career path, in the food service and allowing for a better life for themselves and their families. Food prepared in classes is donated to local food banks where it is distributed to those in need in the community.The school is also the congregate meal provider for the New Milford Senior Center and the emergency food provider for the Town of New Milford.

Results: The Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT has a 96% job placement rate and 95% retention rate post six months graduation. Over 11,000 meals have been prepared for those in need since the school's inception in 2007.

Target demographics: Unemployed and underemployed adults secure employment with career opportunity while addressing hunger in our area

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000 people and 2 agencies

Geographic areas served: New Milford CT

Programs: Job and life skills training Senior congregate meals Meals for local food banks

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son, who is on the spectrum had been having difficulty finding a job in the food service industry. He was interested in cooking, but lacked the right mindset for the pressure of being a chef. This program gave him the confidence to work as a dietary aide, while enjoying the confidence to continue pursuing his interest in cooking. He was certainly not the top student, but he was able to find employment and was encouraged to continue to pursue his interests.
We attended some of the dinners, which were delicious. This program worked to give the best experience to all of their members, who were on many different skill levels. We are very grateful to this program for its support.

Comments ( 1 )

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Board Member

Rating: 5

When Covid-19 forced schools, businesses and restaurants to close, most of us were able to hunker down and stay safe at home while we adjusted to this new reality. Not so the staff and volunteers of the Community Culinary School, who immediately transitioned from a culinary arts training school to providing daily meals to the town's senior citizens and the needy in volume that had not been done before. They did so with no hesitation or debate about how to accomplish this but with great determination and certainty that this is what the community needed. For the past year, many of our most vulnerable have been receiving delicious ,as well as nutritious, daily meals, made by the Community Culinary School chefs, to sustain them during lock-down, sparse grocery shelves and the continued limitations of the pandemic. Some 27,000 plus meals have been distributed since last March! To say that I am impressed by Dawn,the School's Director, the Chefs ,Blythe & Jay, the Development Assistant, Elaine and the many volunteers who go above and beyond daily is an understatement to say the least! They are selfless and tirelessly hard-working people, deserving of both our appreciation & our support to continue their work in the community.

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned of the school several years ago when I attended their annual gala as a guest. My husband and I were impressed enough by their mission of empowering their students with job and life skills (which was made apparent by former graduates speaking from their hearts about their experiences at the School) to start supporting their fundraisers and I recently became a volunteer member of their Board because I believe in the good that they do. The hard work of the School’s Director and Staff is exceeded only by their dedication to their students, their community and helping those in need. Much gratitude to them for the sustenance they provide daily to so many....

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culinaryschool 04/08/2020

Thank you so very much for this!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended their communities dinners and have found the food to be amazing! I have been so impressed with the amount of people they have been able to feed both through their support of the senior center and the food bank. Their contribution to the needy in our town is fantastic. Please support this group of angels!

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

1 Gretchen Trask B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the CCS since 2017, and I am constantly impressed by the work ethic and dedication of the staff. The school in it's normal function is a fantastic resource, but the way it has adapted to the current conditions is really amazing, becoming an essential service provider for the seniors of this area. Covid has not made life easy, but Dawn, Blythe and Jay have adapted time and again, and function like a well-oiled machine. It will be wonderful to have the school back in the mode of teaching and growing people, but in the meantime, they continue to be an extremely valuable service provider for the Town of New Milford. They deserve the support of us all.

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kudos to the CCS--they are such a positive and helpful presence in our community, and have been for 13 years. So many success stories have come out of the school; careers started, businesses and opportunities created , sometimes for people who had no direction at all. The senior center is a grateful beneficiary of the school's services, as is the community at large, with delicious food being served and much needed social interaction provided by staff and students. The school is run by caring, creative, and committed people who appreciate their community, and who know that the value they provide is very important. Thank you to everyone involved in this wonderful organization.

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culinaryschool 04/03/2020

Thank you Gretchen!!!

Priscilla Durgy W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of serving on the Culinary School board for the last six months. Coming into an organization during a pandemic you are never sure what to expect. This organization has gone above and beyond in helping to ensure our most vulnerable citizens have a healthy, nutritious and most certainly delicious lunch each day. There was never a hesitation as to how the work would be done, just a willingness to help the community in which they are in. While we are all looking forward to the day we can welcome new students and train them towards a new career, this organization has not missed a beat in helping others this past year. A huge thank you to everyone involved for being community partners.

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Michael N.5

Board Member

Rating: 5

It was amazing the way the Culinary School pivoted during the Pandemic. When the school was closed last March, the school changed gears. They have always helped the needy in town by supplying meals to the Food bank & the Senior Center. But when the need from the community increased even more, they stepped up. I think they are up to 30,000 meals provided to the needy during the pandemic. For some of the seniors, these meals have become the highlight of their day as they are isolated in their homes. For the Food Banks, instead of some supplies, families are getting home cooked meals. It has been such a blessing to our community

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am not going to repeat the summary of the school that the other reviews listed. I want to talk about the individuals that the school helps. The student that is unemployed and on welfare, transformed into a confident chef on the way to a career. The single mother cramming in a full day of work while the kids are in school. Having a full meal ready for pickup at social services prepared by the students of the school gives her one less thing to worry about in her hectic life. And finally the elderly widow that looks forward to a delicious lunch each day, getting some much needed human interaction. These 3 pillars of the school makes the Community Culinary SChool an incredible asset of our community.

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culinaryschool 04/03/2020

Thank you Mike!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of the Community Culinary School since 2018. It is a wonderful organization that serves the community of New Milford while changing the lives not only of the student who graduate from the program but also the entire community it touches.

Since the virus shut down the ability to have students, the staff has stepped up and served thousands of meals through the New Milford Senior Center.

This is a program that deserves widespread support.

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of the Community Culinary School since 2018. It is a wonderful organization that serves the community of New Milford while changing the lives not only of the student who graduate from the program but also the entire community it touches.

Attending one of the graduation events is moving in so many way as students and their families show such a sense pride and accomplishment that is hard to put into words. More recently the school has been the food provider to the New Milford Senior Center serving delicious, healthy lunches to rave reviews.

This is a program that deserves widespread support.

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culinaryschool 04/08/2020

Thank you!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to attend several Community Dinners at the Culinary, the food and comraderie is always top shelf. The help they provide our town is unparalleled.

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Board Member

Rating: 5

While the school is ostensibly a training program for future chefs, it is far more than that! In the relatively short time that I've been involved as a member of the Board of Directors, the school has become an invaluable square in the welcoming quilt that is our Town and surrounding area. Whether it is providing meals to our senior citizens, working with the Town's Food Bank or coordinating with our churches' food pantries, the school has stepped up again and again to meet the challenges many in our community are facing. To continue providing its services the school needs help. So join us! Maybe a small contribution, maybe some other donation. You'll be happy you did!!

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I serve on the Board of Directors and I am always amazed by the accomplishments of this organization. Our employees show a dedication and work ethic rarely seen today. Our chef instructors teach our students all the skills they need to be successful in a competitive work environment. We are currently providing meals for the food bank and are the provider for the senior center meals. This is truly an enormous help to our community.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Community Culinary School has truly stepped up its game in the times of the pandemic! While they have had to put classes on hold until they can safely resume in the kitchen, the food has not stopped! They are providing food for the senior citizens of New Milford as well as the two food banks. Since the Pandemic has begun, they have prepared and delivered over 30,000 meals! The Community Culinary School truly is all about the community of New Milford. Bravo!!!!

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culinaryschool 03/08/2021

Thank you!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The Community Culinary School is a shining example of how a Not for Profit benefits its community in ways beyond what you may expect. Not only do they provide job training for those unemployed or underemployed adults who want it, they provide meals for the New Milford food bank, they are the emergency food provider for the town of New Milford and they provide the meals for the Seniors at the New Milford Senior Center. The Community Culinary School is so aptly named!

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culinaryschool 03/30/2020

We so appreciate this!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer Chef Instructor with the culinary school for a couple of years now. The amount of food and nutrition that comes from such a small kitchen....which is donated for the culinary school to use by a local church is nothing but astounding. Staff and volunteers that really care about the students success, people in the community that they serve, and the quality of the food that is created, that is what inspired me to devote my time and volunteer with this organization above all others.

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culinaryschool 02/25/2021

Thank you so much!!! Just to clarify, we DO pay rent for the space at the church.

chickiemama

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

. Learning a skill that is used in so many industries is remarkable.. the fact that the school also has a great job placement team ensures that the students can go to work immediately after completing the program. this program is great for people of all ages, especially those entering the job market after being out of work for a long time!

Carol LaCombe M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I hear so much about this wonderful organization. They provide such a valuable experience for the students and that makes me so happy. The school makes it fun for the students to learn such great skills. I hope it goes on forever!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This school is doing amazing work! It's providing life-skills and work-skills for so many students who might otherwise have not had such opportunity. And, oh by the way, over 95% of the graduates are placed in good paying working environments that will help them achieve many dreams that they may have never thought possible.

If you're reading this and can help out. Please do! Every little bit helps.

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culinaryschool 04/08/2020

Thank you so much!!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sara R. (Graduate student 2019)
Community culinary school give me the skills to start a new career, I was bless to learn from the best chef's.
And you don't need to get a expensive student loan to take the program and the most important thing is you get a job offer in very short time, like me I graduated on Friday and Sunday I start working it's Awesome.
Thanks Community Culinary School.

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culinaryschool 04/03/2020

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with the Community Culinary School many years ago. What impressed me then and continues to impress me now is that our staff trains students in the Culinary arts for the purpose of employment. Ninety six percent of our students have jobs on the day of their graduation. Is that not impressive?

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culinaryschool 04/03/2020

Thank you so much Judi!

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's all about "Community", in more ways than one. Not only do the students who attend CCS benefit from a wonderful work and learning experience in the culinary arts and life skills, but our community benefits from the food that is prepared by our students. From the seniors who come for lunch at the New Milford Senior Center to members of our community who frequent the New Milford Food Bank. CCS is a wonderful organization that touches SO many lives. The school also hosts quarterly dinners open to the general public where we all can gather as a community and share in a delicious meal. The community outreach is enormous and comes from the heart of our leadership at CCS. One of the highlights of my involvement with CCS, is seeing the pride in our students as we celebrate their achievements at their graduation ceremony at the end of their semesters. Its a beautiful thing!!!

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culinaryschool 04/03/2020

Thank you so much!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the BOD of the Culinary for several years and can say without hesitation this is one of the finest organizations I have ever been associated with. The entire staff is simply top notch and work incredibly hard to teach and mentor our students as evidenced by our 96% job placement. Also the totally volunteer BOD are completely invested in our organization.

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culinaryschool 03/30/2020

Thank you so much!

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful program that has managed to serve the community in multiple ways. Not only does it help unemployed and underemployed people develop new skills that will give them greater opportunities for career advancement and better earning potential it also serves as a source for meals to the homeless shelter and senior center. As the students learn their skills the most vulnerable in our community gets their meals. What an awesome combination of services to our community. Great Job Community Culinary School of Northwest Connecticut.

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culinaryschool 03/30/2020

Thank you for your kind words!