(Dec. 29) Marc Sinclair, a chef for 19 years, teaches culinary arts and hotel management courses at Barre Technical Center, a high school in Barre, Vt. He partners with the Vermont Food Bank in South Barre, Vt., in its Community Kitchen program — a 14-week program for unemployed individuals to learn skills in the culinary arts, safe food handling and job readiness. There are Community Kitchen programs in 24 states affiliated with America’s Second Harvest food bank network. Sinclair answers Produce Concepts’ questions about his community service.

Q: How often do you work with the Community Kitchen?
A: I partner with the Vermont Food Bank Community Kitchen three to five days a week during the school year. We utilize their facility to teach and train my students and their students and prepare them in a wide range of skills.

Q: What motivated you to get involved with the Community Kitchen program?
A: We were looking for a business to partner with. The food bank needs people to process the food they get from vendors. The training of my high school students and their Community Kitchen trainees incorporates large-quantity cooking with workplace skills. We prepare up to 5,000 pounds of food a day and work together to feed Vermont.

Q: Where does that food go?
A: It’s distributed to over 400 agencies throughout Vermont, including shelters, soup kitchens and assisted-living facilities.

Q: What positive results have you seen from the training you provide?
A: When some of the Community Kitchen students finish the program there, they come into my school program for further training. Some of my students also go there to complete their sanitation certification and life-skills training course. Together we are steppingstones to their future in the culinary field.

Q: What’s the most fulfilling aspect of working with the Community Kitchen?
A: One is watching the feeding outlets like nursing homes and soup kitchens come and find so much to choose from to take and feed their people. The other is seeing underprivileged students, some for the first time, have hope and become a skilled worker with a job prospect. They feel like they can do something, complete it and become independent and self-sufficient.

Q: How could others get involved in a Community Kitchen?
A: The best way would be to call America’s Second Harvest or their local food bank and volunteer by offering training or cooking classes.