St. Mary’s Kate Thoene Named to Phoenix “40 Under 40” class of 2012 by The Phoenix Business Journal

Everyone at St. Mary’s wishes to congratulate our own Kate Thoene – and the Phoenix Business Journal for their excellent taste – as the director of the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program was honored as one of the Valley’s “40 Under 40” class  2012.

Everyone who comes into contact with St. Mary’s whirling dervish of energy would agree that Kate has guided Community Kitchen with incredible energy and passion and made it a labor of love that is a source of pride not only to the Food Bank but the Valley as well.

The hundreds of students, graduates — and in the process, friends – Kate has touched during her tenure have resulted in lives repaired, transformed and outright saved. Those struggling for direction and, in some cases, survival have found Kate and her dynamic team’s combination of tough love and a helping hand to be the navigation point for a new start.

If students can complete a rigorous 16-week training program that is as much about life skills outside the kitchen as knife skills within, a steady job and the means to keep it await on the other side. A Community Kitchen graduation ceremony is not to be missed and drips with the heart-tugging, real-life battles of those who, against all odds, wrestle their own fears and demons into submission and emerge with the means to move forward and exhibit new-found pride in themselves.

It’s a special program. It requires special people to execute its mission. And it demands an inventive, visionary force of nature to guide it. Congratulations, Kate.

CK Catering a Hit at Collins Court Apartments Grand Opening

CK Catering, a program of St. Mary’s Food Bank, is a new addition to the host of programs and initiatives St. Mary’s has taken to realize its mission of alleviating hunger while encouraging self-sufficiency, advocacy and education.

CK Catering was proud to be a part of the grand opening of the new Collins Court apartments on April 18th, sponsored by Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), which provides a home and a new start for low income families in our community.

St. Mary’s Community Kitchen Program works to empower homeless, disadvantaged individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency through job training, personal development and ultimately, employment in the foodservice industry.  The addition of CK Catering is designed to further support Community Kitchen and enable supporters and friends to further support the food bank. CK Catering provides a delicious, artisan crafted meal while furthering the training and experience to our students to help them find employment and transform their lives.

CK Catering set up a continental breakfast display that included pastries, danish, warm cinnamon rolls, seasonal fruit salad and Starbucks coffee service.  Special thanks to CASS for the work they do in our community, and to our students who provided their special event with a beautiful and delicious breakfast.

For more information or to book you next catering event with CK Catering, please contact Catering Manager Danielle Roberts at 602-920-1107.

Introduction of CK Catering, by St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

CK Catering, a program of St. Mary’s Food Bank, is a new social enterprise developed to support the Food Bank and the Community Kitchen foodservice training program.  CK Catering works with Community Kitchen students to prepare its signature boxed lunches perfect for corporate lunches, in addition to full service catering options for your next special event, and we deliver!  If you are interested in more information, please contact Danielle Roberts, CK Catering Manager at 602-920-1107.

Community Kitchen Graduates 34 Students – with 93% Already Joining Food Service Workforce

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would like to congratulate the latest two graduating classes of our incredibly successful Community Kitchen program. These graduates received their chef’s coats on Saturday, Feb. 4, marching down the aisle to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” with friends, family and members of St. Mary’s staff and its Board of Directors looking on with pride.

More than 90 percent of the this class has already found steady employment within the foodservice industry, speaking to both the incredible reputation of Community Kitchen graduates within the Valley and the hard-work these students put in to prepare themselves for the next, more positive and productive, chapters in their lives. To all the members of the Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 Classes, we wish you all the best moving forward.