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There is a place where people wake up hungry in the morning and go to bed hungry at night. These people are our neighbors. The place they live is called Trenton.

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Cooking up a career: TASK student looks toward a brighter future

Rayon is on his way to the career he’s dreamed of.  A poet, rapper and writer, he’s hoping the employment opportunities it opens up for him will also help him afford his need for art in his life.

Just recently, through the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen’s ServSafe program, Rayon, a former TASK GED recipient,  earned a food service certificate that is recognized all over the country. He says he can manage a kitchen anywhere now, “from fast-food to a five-star restaurant.”

“It’s a very big deal,” he said, beaming.  “It was as big a deal as getting my GED.  I worked hard for it and TASK tutors quizzed me for the ServSafe test till I had the whole book embedded in my head.”

TASK’s new ServSafe program is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. The eight week program focuses on core food service areas, including basic food safety, personal hygiene, cross‐contamination and allergens, time and temperature, and cleaning and sanitation. After completing the 16‐hour course and passing an assessment test, participants receive a certificate in safe food handling practices.

When asked about his journey to where he is now, Rayon answered: “Everyone has bad days. So, you have to ask yourself, are you gonna stay down or get up and get going? Are you going to get distracted and let it keep you in bondage or get back up and try again?”

“TASK was really good to me,” Rayon continued.  “It saved my life.  It helped mold me and mature me. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the TASK family. It has an excellent support system.  It makes tutors available to me who keep me motivated.  Even when I was down, they kept mentoring me.”

For more information about the ServSafe program at TASK, contact Paul Jensen, TASK Kitchen Coordinator, at (609) 695‐5456 ext. 111 or paulj@trentonsoupkitchen.org.

Cooking up a career

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In Plain Sight: The Story of TASK

By LEE SEGLEM, Member of TASK Board of Trustees

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