No Kid Hungry Offers Students A Menu of Opportunity for Volunteerism and Community Engagement
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today a new volunteer partnership between its ProStart program and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. ProStart students will be able to earn hours toward their industry-recognized ProStart National Certificate of Achievement through volunteer service with No Kid Hungry, which is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need to nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaching low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals.
ProStart is a nationwide career technical education program where high-school students learn from an industry-derived, competency-based curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, coupled with real-life restaurant sector experiences. Through the partnership with No Kid Hungry, ProStart students will have a mechanism to document hours worked and receive credit for activities they need to complete their Certificate of Achievement. To earn the certificate, students must pass two national exams, demonstrate foundational skills and document 400 hours of industry-related work experience. Students who receive the certificate are eligible for NRAEF scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 60 of the nation’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.
“Together with No Kid Hungry, ProStart is helping to create the next generation of thoughtful chefs ready to tackle social issues by leveraging their passion for the food and beverage industry and their inherent desire to feed people,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “As ProStart continues to gain recognition for its industry-driven curriculum, students will continue to experience the true value of the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement and how it can direct them to rewarding and upwardly mobile careers in the restaurant and foodservice sector.”
Students can volunteer with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign initiatives such as Cooking Matters®, Cooking Matters at the Store and Taste of the Nation, as well as through cooking demos, social engagement and other student-driven projects.
“Chefs and restaurants have been some of our most critical supporters, volunteering countless hours and lending their voices in support of ending childhood hunger,” said Gregory Silverman, director of national partnerships for Share Our Strength. “No Kid Hungry believes that ProStart students will see a generation where no kid in America is hungry and our mission is to help create teen advocates who understand the crisis of childhood hunger and are dedicated to ending it.”
The announcement will be made at the NRAEF’s ProStart Coordinator Roundtable hosted by Brinker International, Inc., a recognized leader in casual dining, at its headquarters in Dallas.
“Brinker is a longstanding supporter of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and ProStart,” said Joe Taylor, vice president, corporate affairs, Brinker International, Inc. “ProStart has become the national model for how we prepare students to enter the restaurant and foodservice industry and Brinker is committed to continuing to play an active role in developing up-and-coming talent.”
Total restaurant and foodservice employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years and the NRAEF is committed to ensuring the development of a highly-trained and professional talent pool through scholarships and educational programs such as ProStart. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught to students across 49 states, Guam and on Department of Defense military bases. For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart.
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation’s largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. No Kid Hungry connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.