FCM Hospitality and Eight Philadelphia Restaurants Support District’s Culinary Arts Program
FCM Hospitality’s Avram Hornik steps up to address food and supply-chain and labor shortages; visits Swenson Arts & Technology HS with chefs to present donation, cook with students during CET Month
Today, FCM Hospitality (FCM), and eight of the hospitality company’s restaurants – Liberty Point, Morgan’s Pier, Harper’s Garden, Lola’s Garden, Rosy’s Taco Bar, The Garden at Cherry Street Pier, Craft Hall and Juno – announced their $50,000 donation of necessary food and supplies to all twelve culinary arts programs in the School District of Philadelphia (the District). FCM’s Avram Hornik is making the donation to address the difficulty schools are currently experiencing with timely delivery of food and supplies due to the country’s ongoing supply-chain issues and labor shortages, coupled with a vendor abruptly canceling their school food contracts nationwide days before the start of the school year.
Hornik and two chefs from FCM visited Swenson Arts & Technology High School today to officially present the company’s donation to The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia and participate in a Culinary Arts class in recognition of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, which is being celebrated in District schools throughout the month of February.
Hornik coordinated with the District-wide CTE culinary program coordinator, schools, and The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia to identify the best way to use the donation and mobilize his support, creating a system in which FCM provides food and supplies directly to each culinary program at their request through the end of the school year. The $50,000 gift will help more than 730 students receive the hands-on training they need to prepare for careers in the culinary industry. The donations include basic staples and baking ingredients, as well as costlier supplies such as salmon, shrimp, lamb, beef, and fresh vegetables.
“We are grateful to FCM for this generous donation that immediately brings high-quality, fresh ingredients right to our students, enhancing the experience they receive in the classroom. We are proud to offer a program where students gain hands-on experience in the culinary scene, and this donation further enhances that by bringing students some of the top ingredients used in restaurants, catering companies, and other hospitality venues,” said Michelle Armstrong, executive director of the District’s CTE programs. “Beyond the donation, we are even more grateful that Mr. Hornik’s and FCM chefs took the time to advance our students’ knowledge and skills by joining them in the kitchen to share tips and advice and inspire them for a career in culinary.”
The twelve schools that have culinary programs are: Murrell Dobbins Career & Technical Education High School; Thomas Alva Edison High School and John C. Fareira Skills Center, Benjamin Franklin High School, Frankford High School, Martin Luther King High School, Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational High School, A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical High School, South Philadelphia High School, Strawberry Mansion High School, Walter B. Saul High School, Swenson Arts and Technology High School, and George Washington High School.
“We’re happy we can support the District’s Culinary Arts program with our donation of $50,000,” said Hornik. “I believe all businesses should be considering a way to support students in our public schools.” Hornik said he has been impressed with the District’s CTE operation and has learned a lot about the program as a result of this experience. “These students might be some of our future staff members and Philadelphia’s next restaurant operators.”
Donna Frisby-Greenwood, President and CEO of The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia said the Fund and the public schools have been fortunate to have business leaders like Avram Hornik find innovative ways to support the schools as they face unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic. “Over the last two years, we’ve made some new partners and enhanced relationships with longtime partners – all of whom have helped the District serve its community and students in new ways,” said Frisby-Greenwood. “And we hope to maintain and grow all of those relationships for years to come.”