Community Kitchen

We are a 9-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 three weeks. In addition to training, each student receives job-placement assistance and support following graduation.

Ready to get started?

Program Requirements
All candidates that are interested in the Community Kitchen program must meet the following criteria:
  • Currently facing a significant barrier to employment
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Authorized to work in the United States
  • Able to pass a drug test
  • Do not have an arson or a sexual offense on criminal record
  • Agree to a drug test and random testing throughout the program
  • Agree to a background check
  • Have sincere enthusiasm and interest in the foodservice industry
  • Living in a stable living environment i.e. shelter, own/rent
  • Able to attend classes Monday- Friday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Able to arrive at classes on time and prepared for the day
  • Able to engage in regular, steady employment in the foodservice industry upon completion of the program
How to Apply

Classes begin every three weeks. Candidates are expected to commit to the 9-week program and adhere to a strict attendance and punctuality policy. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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 three 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 the application and deliver to 3003 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017. Applications may be faxed to 480.780.3799.
  • Step two: Attend an Information Session which are held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. at our training facility located at 3003 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017 in the University of Phoenix Programs Center. The session is approximately one hour.

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  • 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.
  • Waitlist: If no openings are available for the next upcoming class, accepted candidates will be placed on a waitlist.
  • 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.

  • 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 9-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.
  • 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 10 students per session with new sessions starting every three 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 85017. (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.

Interested? Learn more.

For more detailed information, call our information line at

(602) 343-3183

Contact St. Mary’s Skill Center for information at (602) 343-3183

Support the
Community Kitchen


Here are two ways you can help us make the Community Kitchen program a success.

1. Hire a Community Kitchen Graduate
  • Our graduates come ready to work. They are certified in Fire Safety and National Restaurant Association Servsafe Management, and have had to adhere to a strict attendance and drug policy.
  • You won’t have to pay any recruiting or advertising costs to find a new kitchen employee.
  • If the graduate is a felon, you may receive tax advantages.
  • It’s the socially responsible thing to do.

Make a decision that’s good for your business and will help change lives here in the Phoenix area. Hire a Community Kitchen graduate today. 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.

2. Hire CK Catering for Your Next Event

CK Catering is a social-enterprise business administered by St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. It is staffed by Community Kitchen students who are learning the catering business while working alongside our chef instructors. If you’re planning a party, sit-down lunch, or an elegant dinner — and would like to help your community in the process — count on CK Catering.

All proceeds go to empowering the homeless, disadvantaged individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency through job training, personal development and employment in the food service industry.

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Let us make your next event a success:
Phone: (602) 343-3158
Fax: (480) 780-3799