News - 2012(BACK)
Delaney Hall Residents Earn Food Serving Certification
West Caldwell, NJ April 27 -
Delaney Hall is proud to announce the graduation of the first five Essex County residents in the ServSafe® Food Handling program. Developed to help the food service industry set a national standard for certification, ServSafe® supplies applicants with basic knowledge of food preparation and is recognized by the National Restaurant Association. Delaney Hall is Community Education Centers, Inc.'s (CEC) residential reentry center located in Newark, New Jersey that provides transitional services for residents referred from Essex County, New Jersey.
Garry Blocker, Eastern Regional Food Service Manager, and Jeff Whitlock, Director of Food & Nutritional Services for Delaney Hall recognized the ServSafe® certification program as a beneficial tool that promotes CEC's mission to give residents every advantage when reentering the work force. Mr. Blocker and Mr. Whitlock developed the program with the support of Joe Trabucco, Director of Delaney Hall, who endorsed setting up the pilot program.
"It serves multiple purposes as it gives the resident a sense of ownership in the kitchen operation, and allows for a sense of pride by undergoing additional training in the workplace. The ServSafe® certification is recognized nationally in all food service establishments, thereby being an added benefit when seeking employment," says Manager Blocker.
Five out of five residents passed the test, with excellent scores ranging from 82 to 95. The online program entails all aspects of safe food handling including time and temperature principles, correct thawing, food storage, hand washing, and others.
"Jeff Whitlock, Food Service Director and Tammy Breaker, Lead Food Service Supervisor for the Delaney Hall kitchen have been instrumental in the success of the program by doing the training, monitoring testing, and providing time for the residents to do the online test. This has been a great team effort. We are very pleased with the test results, it is rewarding to see residents gain a sense of purpose and hope," says Manager Blocker.
Mr. Whitlock, who has directed the Delaney kitchen for two years now, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris as a certified Executive Pastry Chef and the California Culinary Academy as a certified Executive Chef. He identified five residents who showed willingness during their daily work in the kitchen as prospective students for ServSafe®.
Beginning the program he blended his special talents for cooking and teaching with an extra effort to inspire the Delaney residents to embrace cooking and kitchen responsibility. The effort was rewarded with all five students gaining certification. As a result several other residents have expressed interest to enter the program.
"We are so proud of the students that worked so hard to achieve this tremendous goal, and they feel good about the work they are doing. Additionally, positive comments are coming in about the quality of the food we are serving," says Jeff Whitlock.
Due to the success of the ServSafe® program at Delaney Hall, the program will now be expanding to other facilities with the next stop at Talbot Hall in Kearny, N.J.
Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) is a leading provider of offender reentry and
in-prison treatment services in America, operating in 18 states and the Commonwealth of Bermuda, with over 30,000 individuals in its daily care. CEC provides a full range of therapeutic residential and non-residential reentry services with a documented record of reducing recidivism.