Food Truck has been providing job training to local students for nearly a decade

BURLINGTON, VT (WCAX) – From serving fresh food to teaching students business skills, the Burlington food truck continues to provide valuable training nearly a decade after it first hit the road.

From the garden to the grill, with school out for the summer, six local students in grades nine through twelve find themselves at Fork in the Road. The food cart and job training program can be found at Champlain Elementary on Fridays this summer.

“In the morning they come in, they set up the food cart, they probably have a prep shift — they prepare the menu and when we sell out, they also have day shifts in the garden. They run every one of our school gardens in our neighborhood,” said Sarah Hosner of the Burlington School Food Project. “.

From start to finish, these students are involved in everything from fresh vegetables and other garden products that are used to make the items on the menu. Hosner says the program offers students hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Aside from cooking fresh burgers and salads, students in the program are introduced with real-world skills.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to get a job like this, so I don’t get completely lost when I go into the job market,” said Josiah Owke, one of the Burlington students on the programme.

“You definitely learned a lot of team and communication skills from the Fork in the Road and it’s something that really helps you bond with your co-worker,” said Josue Correa, one of the program participants.

For many students, the truck serves as their first real job, and students are paid by the school district during their time in the program. The program began in 2013 and the opportunities are endless, Hosner says. “When you’re sweating in the kitchen and you’ve got a million orders and you’ve got all those customers and you’re trying to multitask and you’re communicating. It’s the best piece because you see the lamp going on with most of these students and they’re like, ‘So that’s what it’s like’ and ‘I can do that,'” Heusner said.

The student-run program will run for 10 weeks through the end of August and the food cart will be here at Champlain Elementary Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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