Cooking Up Confidence

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Joanna didn’t know much about St. Mary’s Food Bank before her first visit when she was desperate to find food for her 6-year-old son, Angel. While picking up a food box and fresh produce, she learned about St. Mary’s Community Kitchen program. She was very excited about the opportunities it could afford her family.

Completing the Community Kitchen program has helped make Joanna more self-sufficient. She said, “I enjoyed working with the staff and students. Learning all the different kinds of food, ways to design it, what food goes with what — things like that.”

She is thankful for the skills She learned in the program and the help she has received from the Community Kitchen staff with her job search since graduating the program. Joanna was excited to gain a hostess position at a local restaurant. In only a few months, she was promoted to pantry cook! Her goal is to become a pastry chef one day.

Until her goal of pastry chef is realized, Joanna still needs help making ends meet and can rely on St. Mary’s for food for her family. She is thankful for friends like you who “give back to kids and support parents so they can help their families. The Food Bank takes the stress away by helping me provide for my son when I don’t have enough,” she said. “It relieves the burden.”

Her son, Angel, loves spaghetti and pizza. He enjoys helping his mom in the kitchen on her days off from work. “I wash the strawberries,” he said with a shy smile. “My mom is a good cook!”