I’ve known about the fine Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The 16-week program teaches the skills needed to pursue a job in food service and hospitality. The program is often highlighted as a part of the organization’s Chef’s Night series that invites local chefs to cook a multi-course dinner in the professional kitchen at the West Orlando facility. (There’s a Chef’s Night coming up on Aug. 30 but it’s already sold out — these dinners are popular!)
What I didn’t know is that Second Harvest also has an entity called Catering for Good, a full-service caterer. I was invited to the facility on Mercy Drive recently for a media luncheon designed to show what the service can do.
Second Harvest offers on-site catering in one of its conference rooms or the large event space that holds a couple of hundred people. Or they can service an event off-site. You know, like a caterer. They can even provide full bar service. Prices are competitive with other catering services, and all proceeds from sales go to fund the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program.
And before you start getting all bothered about the food bank using donated canned goods to cater some socialite’s soiree you should know that none of the foods from the Second Harvest shelves are used by Catering for Good. “We’re very, very firm that donated food goes into the community…to fight hunger,” said sales manager Lanette Jarvis.
Instead, chef Jill Holland, who oversees the program, purchases all ingredients from local and national vendors, and everything served at a catering event, she proudly notes, is made from scratch.
Holland and her team prepared the Mexican spread from the Catering for Good menu list. The buffet included chicken and steak fajitas, sweet plantains, yellow rice and black beans, and roasted black bean and corn salad, all of it very nicely done.
We have a lot of terrific caterers in Central Florida and a lot of people having a lot of events. It’s nice to know there’s another option to consider, especially one that serves a purpose along with a meal.
For information on Catering for Good, visit FeedHopeNow.org.