Culinary Training for Youth
The Filet of Soul Culinary Institute program for youth targets economically disadvantaged young people between the ages of 14-24 in West Chester and Coatesville. Students receive culinary training, paid work experience, ServSafe certification, soft skills education, transportation (if needed), resume building and job placement. The accommodation and food service industry provides a greater number of jobs (than any other industry) to youth ages 14-21 and this training provides a major opportunity for students to take advantage of this trend. The youth currently receive this training while participating in the Charitable Meal Preparation and Delivery Program and Catering events and will do so while working in the Community Café.
Culinary Training for Adults
The Filet of Soul Culinary Institute program for adults targets individuals with barriers to employment including returning citizens (ex-offenders), single parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. This program offers free culinary training, ServSafe certification, worker advocacy services and resource linking, paid work experience opportunities, transportation, and child care. There will be a targeted focus on women who have experienced trauma, such as domestic abuse, drug addiction and incarceration. These participants will receive this training while participating in the Charitable Meal Preparation and Delivery Program, and catering events and while working in the Community Café.
Health and Wellness
Programs include a free CHEC-Point Clinic operated by Chester County Hospital personnel and volunteer nurses from West Chester University. Additional free healthy meal programs include 21-21-21, a twenty-one day sliding scale exercise, nutrition, and meal program addressing health disparities which commonly affect marginalized populations. The program focuses on weight loss, heart health and diabetes prevention through guided exercise, nutrition counseling and healthy meals.
Charitable Meal Preparation & Delivery
In the midst of the global crisis, Filet of Soul Culinary Institute stepped up and reached out to help the most vulnerable populations, while training and employing economically disadvantaged youth and adults, as well as individuals who have lost employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, the team has distributed over 26,000 charitable meals to Low Income Individuals in West Chester and Coatesville. This program is funded by grants from the Department of Environmental Protection, Brandywine Health Foundation, Pennsylvania Housing and Finance, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. To date, Filet of Soul and 2Fish have served low-income populations through the following organizations/entities: the West Chester Mayor's office, the West Chester Area Senior Center, Denney Reyburn Apartments, Church Street Towers, Brandywine Center, CYWA, Coatesville Towers, and the Bridge Academy and Community Center. Two Fish also partners with local organizations to provide disaster relief and most recently worked with the following organization to provide meals for Coatesville residents impacted by Hurricane Ida: Brandywine Health Foundation, New Life in Christ Fellowship, CYWA, Atkinson Men’s Shelter, Tabernacle Baptist Church, and Brandywine Valley Active Aging. The Charitable Meal Program will expand to offer additional on- and off-site meal distribution days.
This program provides advocacy for Chester County residents with barriers while partnering with social service agencies to provide resources such as assistance in obtaining housing, job training, transportation, childcare, legal counsel, educational resources, medical services, and spiritual care.
Personal Development Workshops
The Life Manual is a faith-based workshop on identity, purpose, and significance. Participants are guided through the development and formulation of a personal vision and mission statement, where they identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to find their God-given purpose and calling to live their best life. Part 2 and 3 work with individuals to assess their needs and trained life coaches will work with the participants to create tangible, attainable goals and action steps to aid in their emotional, social/relational, spiritual, mental, environmental, financial and physical health. After receiving an ILP (Individualized Life Plan), the individual can access weekly group therapy sessions and semester based classes for mental and physical health.