San Diego

Kitchens for Good and CCTRP San Diego: Cooking Up Positive Change!

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We’d like to share  about how the culinary apprenticeship program offered by Kitchens for Good has helped create positive change and opportunities for the women that we serve at our Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program (CCTRP) in San Diego!  

11947457_885035714918638_8577917713999139097_nKitchens for Good is a 501(c)(3) and social enterprise with the mission to break the cycles of food waste, hunger and poverty through innovative solutions in workforce training, healthy food production and social enterprise. Kitchens for Good bridges the gap between wasted food and hunger by rescuing  surplus and cosmetically imperfect food from wholesalers and farmers and engaging students in a culinary apprenticeship program to transform these ingredients into nutritious meals for hungry families. This approach addresses the most immediate need of hunger by feeding the food lines, but also helps to shorten the line itself by giving unemployed people the skills to become self-sufficient. Through the power of kitchens and cooking, our students transform their lives from one of addiction, incarceration, homelessness and unemployment to lives of stability, employment, and a brighter future.

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“Our CCTRP program in San Diego has been involved with the Kitchens for Good Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Program since it began its first class in February of 2016. Once our students have completed our In-House Vocational Job Readiness class curriculum consisting of ‘The Meaning of Work’, ‘Goal Setting’, ‘Resume and Cover Letter Construction’, ‘Employee Professionalism’, ‘Barriers To Employment’, ‘Interview Preparation’, ‘Mock Interviewing’, ‘Money Management Tools’, ‘Life Skills’ and ‘Re-Entry’, they are then eligible to pursue the culinary arts program.

11951577_885146491574227_1931708125613766834_oTwo of our women started there in April of 2016 and there have been at least two students from CCTRP San Diego in every class thereafter. To date, we have had 14 students participate with Kitchens for Good, graduate and become gainfully employed in the culinary and hospitality field. Some have even transferred their employment to their counties of commitment. Currently, there are three students attending the current Kitchens for Good class with an expected graduation date of October 26, 2018. This current class has a total of 18 students from other all over San Diego as well as other programs and we are very proud to share with the rest of the WestCare family that the San Diego CCTRP women are the top three stand outs in the class! We have since referred two perspective students for the next class to begin October 3, 2018 and from the foundation that has been set before them, we have no doubt that they too will excel and be successful!” – Michelle White, Program Director, CCTRP San Diego

For more information on Kitchens for Good, please visit: https://kitchensforgood.org/

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

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The Women of San Diego CCTRP Grow Together

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We have the pleasure of operating two Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Programs (CCTRP) in Stockton and San Diego, California. These nine month to two year programs serve female offenders with up to two years left on their sentence in a community setting rather than in the institution while providing them the skills that they need to reenter society successfully and succeed in the future upon their release from the program. We’d like to share a letter written by the women that we serve at our San Diego CCTRP program about a wonderful project that they began in March of 2017 and have since maintained during their time with the program, a community garden!

“Hello everyone,

It is the ladies down in beautiful San Diego, California of CCTRP! We want to share with all of you our latest expansion of our garden!

We currently have an array of different veggies growing such as tomatoes, artichokes, summer squash, pumpkins and a small patch of purple basil as well as some beautiful sunflowers and 4 o’clock flowers! The summer attraction for our sunflowers has brought about 6-8 sets of wild parrots that bask in the sun and munch on the seeds. Now, the summer crop is rapidly coming to an end. We are looking forward to donations and supplies so that we can produce fall and winter vegetation.

This experience has been therapeutic for the clients. It has brought us together on a team building and community level. During visits, families have the opportunity to plant, water and nurture the plants as they grow. This is parallel to the healing process of family re-unification.

Our goal is to continue to get more clients and their families involved. Each client has an opportunity to get educated about gardening as well as take the experience home to be incorporated as a viable coping skill.

Our hope is to be able to maintain this process for future clients by utilizing the latest techniques in gardening such as raised planters (ex.: Bed Building), water conservation and easy maintenance for the future of the garden, ultimately resulting in less work, low costs and more success. We also have a compost pile which we designed and utilize  with the veggie and fruit crops to fertilize our garden. We look forward to what more we can do in our garden; working, growing and learning toward a brighter future together as a community!”

With Love,
The Women of San Diego CCTRP

WCCA Logo PNGFor over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents, and families.