The Louisiana Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross has a beautiful, state-of-the art kitchen in Baton Rouge designed to prepare thousands of hot meals a day in the event of a disaster. Now, volunteers are needed to learn how to staff the professional kitchen.
Specialized training is set up for the weekend of Feb. 28/March 1. Volunteers then would support a once-a-quarter drill to keep their skills sharp. Residents may volunteer as an individual, or sign up as a team from your neighborhood, church or civic group.
“I believe in a resilient community that is ready to help itself when disaster strikes,” said attorney Jack Whitehead, who is a Red Cross chapter board member. “Be a part of our resilient community and join us in training on the weekend beginning February 28.”
The Baton Rouge kitchen, which was donated by the Walmart Foundation and the People of Kuwait, is equipped for volunteers to prepare 2,000 meals a day.
Disaster Kitchen Training is a two-day, basic-level course designed to give participants the opportunity to learn how to work in a kitchen preparing meals for those affected by a disaster. Only 27 people can attend the course due to cost and space restraints.
Participants in the training will prepare two meals during the class and must bring/wear attire that will allow them to prepare food, load and unload emergency response vehicles and clean the kitchen and response vehicles. Shoes should be close-toed with rubber or non-skid soles.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to use safe food handling procedures; understand the process of food preparation and delivery; determine Mass Care feeding requirements for a disaster response; understand the needs of a suitable food preparation facility and the additional material resource requirement for that facility; work efficiently with supervisors to receive, inventory, store and distribute supplies delivered to the kitchen site; and understand the closing procedures for a kitchen site, including the return of supplies and unused items.
Red Cross volunteer training is free and generally open to all. Disaster Kitchen Training is packed into a single weekend, which makes for long hours. The 2015 course is Saturday, February 28, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., although early completion is likely.
Register yourself or your team by contacting Jodi.Tolliver@redcross.org or calling (225) 291-4533. Red Cross volunteers may sign up on Volunteer Connection.