Last year, one of our greatest and most fulfilling achievements was launching the Charlie’s Heart Foundation Grant Program. Through this program, we connected with inspiring organizations and provided them assistance to help them with their missions.

Some of these organizations were local, like the Community Culinary School of Charlotte, a nonprofit that’s right in our backyard. Last summer they were one of the countless applications we got for our grant program and one of the nine organizations we ultimately selected to receive between $5,000 and $50,000. You can learn more about how we chose the nonprofits we did and what the application process was like by clicking here.

We were specifically interested in supporting nonprofits whose missions aligned with our own, keeping families together through difficult circumstances. The Community Culinary School of Charlotte does that by providing workforce development training and job placement assistance to adults who face barriers to long-term employment, many of whom have families to support at home. By providing them with access to education and job prospects, the Community Culinary School of Charlotte is creating a ripple effect in our community and providing economic stability to many local families.students at Community Culinary School of Charlotte

Focusing specifically on careers in the foodservice industry, the Community Culinary School of Charlotte works with those who have faced incarceration, addiction, homelessness, and veterans’ reintegration issues or have a lack of skills. Their students take courses and gain hands-on experience through a cafe and catering business.

Since its founding in 1997, the school has seen 998 graduates and trains approximately 60 individuals each year. Of those graduates, 83% gain jobs at graduation, and 89% are still employed 6 months later, which is a huge impact.

Donations to the nonprofit help students by giving them access to the materials they’ll need throughout their schooling, like their chef’s uniform, materials and testing for ServSafe certifications, food for the students to work with, and more. The grant the Community Culinary School of Charlotte received from our grant program will help support students as they go through their training and allow them to gain new opportunities upon graduation.

We are so proud to have supported such an incredible nonprofit dedicated to helping people find second chances in the workforce. To learn more about the Community Culinary School of Charlotte and donate to their cause directly, head to their website.