High Schools Can Win $5,000 from The Rachael Ray Foundation to Grow Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Programs

Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grants Provide Funds to Improve or Begin ProStart Programs

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced that starting this week, high schools across the country are eligible to apply for $5,000 grants from The Rachael Ray Foundation to improve or kick off their ProStart programs.

The 2022 Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grant program will provide $5,000 grants for up to 25 ProStart schools or schools with culinary arts programs that are looking to become a ProStart school. To-date, the program has provided $590,000 to schools that have demonstrated a strong need to engage and educate high school students interested in exploring restaurant and foodservice careers. Schools have from March 1-31, 2022, to submit applications for the current round of funds.  

“We are excited to support another round of Grow Grants for high schools that are cultivating the next generation of food industry professionals through the ProStart Program,” said Rachael Ray, award winning television personality and philanthropist. “The needs are great as these local programs often face challenges related to outdated equipment and kitchen spaces, curriculum and certification costs, and more. I am truly proud of our partnership with the NRAEF’s ProStart Grow Grant program to back educators who are giving high school students the tools and training to support their culinary dreams.” 

ProStart, a two-year technical education program focused on culinary arts and restaurant management, is offered at more than 1,750 schools across the country with over 140,000 students enrolled. Funding from the Rachael Ray Foundation will offer schools the opportunity to upgrade or purchase new resources, build up their classrooms and supplies, and support teachers with whatever they need to help their students learn career-building skills in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry.

“ProStart Grow Grants have proven to be one of the best investments we’ve made in the future of high school culinary arts and restaurant management programs, and we are excited to provide assistance to another 25 schools this year thanks to The Rachael Ray Foundation,” said NRAEF president Rob Gifford. “Past funding rounds have helped schools join the ranks of ProStart programs, kick off farm to table endeavors, and renovate their education spaces. I can’t wait to see what this year’s winners are able to achieve for their ProStart students.”

Over the past 15 years, more than 260 scholarships have been provided by Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! organization and the Rachael Ray Foundation, totaling over $2.2 million in support to NRAEF scholarships, ProStart, and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.

“These funds have been invaluable to our program,” said Katelyn Owen, an educator at West Rowan High School in Mt. Ulla, North Carolina, which received a 2019 Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grant. “Our program was at a standstill and unable to grow due to our lack of funding. Our space had deteriorated over the years, leaving our room and equipment very dated. Students were not able to relate or get experience in a kitchen that they could relate to the current industry. We now have a fully renovated space that allows our students to thrive and be creative in our farm-to-table program, as well as get experience and spark interest in today’s industry.”

The NRAEF will facilitate the 2022 grant process by accepting applications from all current or onboarding/incoming ProStart schools for the 2022-2023 academic year. Each school will submit a complete application and, if selected, will be required to sign an agreement about joining ProStart for the next school year or return the funds. Applicants have through March 31, 2022, to complete their submissions for the NRAEF’s consideration by clicking here.  Learn more about ProStart here.

Source: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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