JERSEY CITY – The New Jersey Reentry Corporation, Brookdale Community College, and Fulfill, the food bank serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties, announced the launch of The Culinary Training Program on Monday, June 5, 2023, for justice-involved individuals.

The Culinary Training Program is designed to provide students with the principles of food preparation through classroom instruction and laboratory experiences.

Who: Court-involved persons

What: 15-week Culinary Training Program

Where: Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean County

When: Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Why: to provide industry-recognized credentials for careers

The program will be offered at Brookdale Community College and Fulfill from June 5th until October 2nd. After the academic course hours are completed, there will be a follow-up hands-on apprenticeship training at Fulfill to improve the student's skill set.

Senator Gopal stated, “The curriculum emphasizes practical skills, including measuring, identifying tools and equipment, and terms and concepts. Students will prepare stocks, soups, and sauces as the foundation for cooking competencies needed in more advanced food preparation courses. This program also includes the nationally recognized ServSafe Food Manager Certification.”

“There are many benefits to engaging in workforce development programs, like the Culinary Training Program, for court-involved persons. The students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to develop marketable, culinary skills over the course of the training that will open up employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for them. Students will also gain numerous transferable skills that extend beyond cooking, like teamwork, time management, attention to detail, creativity, and problem-solving. We at Brookdale are thrilled to partner with NJ Reentry and Fulfill to develop and offer this important program for the community,” said Dean Susan Pagano of Brookdale Community College.

This partnership expands training and employment opportunities for justice-involved within the Monmouth and Ocean region. Senator Declan O’Scanlon stated, “The Brookdale/Fulfill Culinary Arts Program for NJRC participants is a fantastic example of community collaboration to provide accessible training and education to those seeking a second chance. It is heartening to see our local restaurants join Brookdale Community College, Fulfill Food Bank, and NJRC to make this program a reality. I look forward to seeing the many successes awaiting future students.”

Monmouth County Commission Director Thomas Arnone stated, “On behalf of the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, I am thrilled that Brookdale Community College will be partnering with Fulfill and New Jersey Reentry Corporation to allow students to gain knowledge of the philosophies of food preparation and obtain experience through classroom instruction and hands-on exercises,” said Commissioner Director Arnone. “Students will learn knife skills, measuring, identification of tools and equipment, and terms and concepts. This program will also include ServSafe Food Manager Certification, which will provide another avenue for future employment.”

COO Rob Carter, NJRC, stated, “During the summer months, there is frequently a dearth of available trained chefs and food preparers. Through this innovative partnership with Brookdale Community College, Fulfill, and NJRC, we hope to provide measurable skills to enable the court-involved persons to be employed in meaningful professions that offer long-term career opportunities.”

NJRC Executive Director Jim McGreevey stated, “We are particularly indebted to Chairman Arnone for providing the linkage between NJRC, Brookdale Community College, the One Stop, and Fulfill. Through the leadership of Senators Gopal and O’Scanlon, NJRC looks to build upon our past successful efforts in responding to the needs of the local Monmouth economy. Monmouth County is a premier hospitality and vacation destination during the summer months. With Brookdale’s strong reputation for professional accreditation, we offer court-involved persons and veterans an opportunity to rebuild their lives. Thank you to the Monmouth County leadership.”

“Court-involved individuals often face significant barriers to employment, which leaves them and their families vulnerable to food insecurity. Building practical job skills through this program will not only help participants put food on the table, it will position them for a brighter future. I’m proud for Fulfill to partner with Brookdale Community College and NJ Reentry to offer a program that is well aligned with our mission to end hunger.” Fulfill President and CEO Triada Stampas,

The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) is a non-profit agency with a social mission to work with returning citizens, employers, and community partners to remove barriers to employment so that everyone in our community can be safer, healthier, and better employed. For more information, visit

Brookdale Community College empowers a diverse community by providing open access to high-quality and cost-effective educational and lifelong learning options with clear paths to personal, educational, and economic success.

Fulfill’s mission is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and to make sure that all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life. Fulfill supplies over 1,100,000 meals per month by distributing food to nearly 300 feeding agencies in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters, and by delivering food to families, children, seniors, veterans, and more. Fulfill also offers a suite of programs to connect people to the resources they need to become self-sufficient.

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