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Loveland Village launches the Hearty Kitchen Academy

Becky Forest (front), Gerald Tempio, Julie Kostelec, James Taintor, Jason Fernandes (blue shirt in back) and Marsha Sands cooking in the kitchen]

 VENICE, Fla. — Loveland Village, a nonprofit that provides educational, vocational and residential programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is launching the Hearty Kitchen Academy at its Venice campus.

With a generous $75,000 grant from Jane’s Trust, the organization will utilize its newly constructed commercial kitchen in the Lamoureux Clubhouse to provide an educational opportunity for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn practical job skills for the hospitality industry.

Currently in development, Loveland Village is actively interviewing instructors to lead the program, engage community groups and develop partnerships to formulate the program’s curriculum.

“The funding from Jane’s Trust has empowered the organization to start an idea that has been circulating for over a year,” said Daniela Koci, president and CEO of the Loveland Village. “The Hearty Kitchen Academy will provide a new learning opportunity with a concrete path to employment, and the continuously developing partnerships will ensure successful transition for program participants.”

The Hearty Kitchen Academy will offer on-the-job food service training, which could allow graduates to transfer to employment at local restaurants, hotels, assisted living facilities, schools and many other businesses in the region. As the academy grows, Loveland Village is also interested in developing a social enterprise that could employ graduates to serve the community.

“We welcome any support and partnerships to make this a successful endeavor,” said Koci. “Our goal is to equip as many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as possible with the tools to be successful and gain independence within our community.”

The Loveland Village’s services and programs are provided through the nonprofit’s student-first philosophy and help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live their lives to the fullest. These educational, vocational and residential programs offer opportunities to learn new skills, provide a diverse set of life experiences and grow with the individual’s changing goals.

To learn more about the program, submit inquiries to HeartyKitchen@LovelandVillage.org.

About Loveland Village

Established in 1962, the Loveland Village strives to help adults with developmental disabilities live their lives to the fullest. The nonprofit was founded by a group of parents who sought to provide a productive and safe place for adults with developmental disabilities. Loveland Village provides educational programs and vocational training for individuals with developmental disabilities. For more information, visit www.LovelandVillage.org or call 941-493-0016.