100th Class Completes Second Helpings Training

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(Image courtesy of Second Helpings Inc.) (Image courtesy of Second Helpings Inc.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A restaurant industry training and food recovery organization is marking a milestone. The 100th free culinary job training class at Indianapolis-based Second Helpings Inc. has graduated. The nearly 20-year-old nonprofit says 747 men and women have received skills that Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Vigran says can help change lives. During a Studio (i) interview, Vigran says Second Helpings delivers a big impact on the local community and businesses.

In addition to training, Second Helpings has rescued nearly 29 million pounds of food that would have gone to waste at grocery stores, restaurants and wholesalers by preparing and delivering over 11 million meals through central Indiana partner agencies. Vigran says its impact on dozens of nonprofits it serves can be measured by six-figures. Its partners in the business world, Vigran says, see the mission of Second Helpings as "part of their sense of corporate responsibility."

Job training graduates are work throughout central Indiana in restaurants, own small businesses, and have overcome challenges such as incarceration, addiction and homelessness. "When graduates come back and they talk about what their new job means to them, it's often about not how proud they are personally of their accomplishments, but what are able to do for others. These are people who have often had to rely on others for day-to-day needs," Vigran told Inside INdiana Business. "Today, they can say things like 'hey, I went to lunch today with a friend and I paid,' or 'I bought a new dress for my wife for our anniversary,' or 'my parents called me and said what do you need for the kids for Christmas and I told them I already had them covered, because I could buy those gifts myself.' It is that sense of independence and not having to rely on other people for that day-to-day existence and being able to build a better future for their families."

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