Steven J. Riskind, Tools of the Trade, 2012. Digital chromogenic print, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
A collaborative exhibition with photographer Steven J. Riskind and writer Doris Friedensohn, whose book Cooking for Change (Full Court Press, 2011) documents the work of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and the Food Service Training Academy located in Hillside, NJ. The FSTA’s intensive sixteen-week education in culinary arts and food safety provides individuals with professional skills, job readiness training, and job placement assistance. It has been a powerful source of hope and help for hundreds of down-and-out people in the Newark area, including ex-offenders and recovering addicts.
Doris Friedensohn writes, “The students and graduates profiled here want to believe that opportunity exists in their own country. They are grateful for philanthropically-funded job training and job placement. Still, they recognize the fragility of their situation. Surrounded by a plague of poverty and joblessness, they worry about the future. Will they be able to support a family on $10-$15 an hour? Will employers be fair-minded? Will they be valued for the work they do?”