In2Work Contest Showcases Winning Dish as Featured April Meal

Students of the IN2WORK (I2W) program at Ohio’s Madison Correctional Institution celebrated a remarkable achievement following their triumph in the ACES Competition. This contest, hosted by Aramark Correctional Services (ACS) and Madison Correctional Institution in February 2024, served as a platform for showcasing culinary expertise and creativity. The victorious team, “Five Stars of Creativity,” concocted a delectable Boneless Chicken Thigh with Pineapple and Coconut Salsa, complemented by a Glazed Pineapple and Coconut Cake for dessert, earning them the coveted title.

Annette Chambers-Smith, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, commended the collaboration and organization involved in orchestrating an event that not only entertained but also held significance for participants. IN2WORK, an initiative offering food and retail safety training, emphasizes both theoretical learning and hands-on experience. The program’s curriculum covers essential aspects of kitchen safety, from food storage to preparation and service, culminating in graduates obtaining the ServSafe Managers certification from the National Restaurant Association.

Nicole McVaugh, Director for IN2WORK, underscored the program’s evolution and commitment to enriching student experiences. Collaborating with partners to host ACES Competitions enhances culinary skills and fosters a spirit of cooperation among participants, providing a platform for creative expression and instilling a sense of accomplishment.

The overarching objective of IN2WORK is to empower justice-impacted individuals by equipping them with the necessary tools, certifications, and confidence to reintegrate into society successfully. With over 11,000 graduates to date and participation from more than half of partner facilities, the program continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of its beneficiaries.

Gretchen Slussar, Aramark’s I2W and Retail Program Manager for Ohio, attested to the transformative impact of the IN2WORK program within correctional facility kitchens. By nurturing a culture of learning and growth, IN2WORK enables incarcerated individuals to prepare for future endeavors and effect positive change in their lives. The ACES Competition provided a platform for participants to showcase their talents, evolve professionally, and derive joy from their culinary pursuits.

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