ECPI Culinary Students Produce 1,000+ Meals for Richmond Community Food Bank

Richmond culinary students are giving back, thanks to a unique partnership with local nonprofit Feed More, a food bank serving the greater Richmond community.

CIV Program Director Chef Charles Delargy and Campus President Jacob Pope arranged for the culinary students taking CAA145 Retail Production at ECPI University’s Richmond Campus in Glen Allen to have their classroom experience held in the kitchens at Feed More. The students attended their normal Tuesday/Thursday class hours at the food bank, working steadily in the Feed More kitchens to produce and package over 1,000 meals during their five-week term. 

“Working at Feed More involves gaining insights into large-scale production, fostering time management skills, and promoting effective communication among colleagues to ensure task completion,” said Justin Harmon, a CIV student in the Retail Production class. “This experience has enabled me to evolve as a more efficient chef and grow my expertise in the culinary field. It’s a chance to make a meaningful impact and help those in need in the local area.” 

This community partnership is a win-win collaboration as students are helping a community in need while learning and gaining valuable experience in foodservice operations. The students have truly enjoyed this enriching and gratifying opportunity. In fact, some of the students have enjoyed the experience so much that they are considering completing their externship at Feed More. 

“Working at Feed More has really opened my eyes to how many people are in need in my community and around the world,”  said culinary student, Latae Blackston. “I’m very excited to be a part of a team of people who help make sure people are fed and taken care of every day.”

A majority of modern foodservice operations rely on retail sales in some form to enhance sales and profit. The Retail Production course introduces students to concepts involved with producing food for retail sale, with an emphasis placed on the production of breakfast and lunch menu items and their preparation and packaging for grab and go sales. 

The partnership caught the eye of the local news! The CIV students will be featured on Richmond’s local CBS station for a “Your Voice Your Community” segment this month.

By Michelle Winnie
Michelle Winnie Regional Director