Community Kitchen

We are a 16 week culinary training program aimed at giving our students a second chance in life by providing all of the skills necessary to be successful in the food service industry.

The Community Kitchen is a life skills and food service training program for those with barriers to employment. Students gain the skills to get jobs offering livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement through hands-on food service training as well as classroom studies. During the past decade, the Community Kitchen has provided thousands of meals to those in need, while transforming the lives of countless participants and families. New sessions start every four weeks. In addition to training, each student receives job-placement assistance and support following graduation.

+ Admissions Process


All candidates that are interested in the Community Kitchen program must meet the eligibility requirements. All candidates must meet the following criteria: Program Eligibility


Classes begin every four weeks. Candidates are expected to commit to the 16 week program and adhere to a strict attendance and punctuality policy. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The following steps have been put into place to ease the admissions process of applying to Community Kitchen. If you cannot commit to program requirements currently, please do not apply until you can. With classes starting every four weeks there are multiple opportunities and flexibility for arranging life schedules.

Step one: To be considered for an upcoming class please APPLY ONLINE or download application and deliver to 3003 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 85009. Applications may be faxed to 480.287.8728.

Step two: Attend an Information Session which are held every Wednesday at 10:00am at our training facility located at 3003 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 85009 in the University of Phoenix Programs Center. Session is approximately one hour. Download Map

Step three: All interested candidates will be invited to a one on one interview with a Community Kitchen staff member.

Once the above steps have been completed we will:
Accept: Accepted candidates will be notified in writing regarding their enrollment date, orientation information, and next steps. Wait List: If no openings are available for the next upcoming class, accepted candidates will be placed on a wait list. Decline: Declined candidates will be notified in writing if they were not selected for the program and will be provided with other community resources.

For more information or assistance with your application please contact Community Kitchen at or call (602) 343-3183.

+ Student Resources

Program FAQs

Why does this program exist? To empower disadvantaged adults to achieve self-sufficiency through job training, personal development and employment in the foodservice industry.

What skill level do students have after completing the program? Students receive a 16-week condensed program with a combination of classroom studies and practical learning. When students fully participate and practice the skills they learn, they will be qualified for a dishwasher, prep or line cook position.

What is the average hourly wage earned by the graduates? The wages vary depending on each student’s attitude, skills and abilities. Most graduates start out earning $9-$11 per hour.

Do students have to pay for this training? Thanks to generous community donors, the program is offered at no cost to people who need assistance and are looking for a positive life change.

What is the average class size? Class size is 20 students per sessions with new sessions starting every four weeks.

Does the program provide housing for students during the training? Housing is not offered as part of the program; however, students can be referred to agencies that do offer these types of services.

How do people find out about the Community Kitchen? The majority of students learn of the Community Kitchen program from other social service agencies where they are already receiving assistance.

Where are classes held? The training is conducted at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in the University of Phoenix Center. The physical address is: 3003 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85009.  (This is our only location.)

Are graduates guaranteed a job? The majority of graduates are working in great careers shortly after graduation. Every individual has different life circumstances, ability levels and motivation levels that can affect employment; therefore we cannot “guarantee” employment to every graduate.

For more detailed information, call our information line at (602) 343-5622. Download PDF Brochure

Download 2016 Schedule of Classes

+ Support the Program

Hire a Community Kitchen Graduate

The Community Kitchen program works closely with local foodservice establishments to provide employment for program graduates. The Community Kitchen thrives with the involvement of our community. There are many social and practical reasons to hire a Community Kitchen Graduate.

  • There are no recruiting or advertising costs to find a new kitchen employee.
  • It’s the socially responsible thing to do.
  • If the graduate is a felon, there may be tax advantages.
  • Our graduates come ready to work. They are certified in Fire Safety and National Restaurant Association Servsafe Manager.Our graduates have had to adhere to a strict attendance and drug policy.

Make that decision to work with us so that together we may have a positive impact on changing lives in the community. It’s people like you that can make a difference. If you are part of a restaurant that would like to hire our graduates, or learn more about our program and curriculum, contact us at or (602) 343-3183.

Donate to support Community Kitchen: Donate Now

Hire our CK Catering for your next event: CK Catering

Not ready to apply? Fill out our online interest form.

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