CUMBERLAND FOOD SERVICES
Contact Person: Joyce Meade, Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: P.O. Box 810, Route 19, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609
Telephone: (276) 964-0377
Fax: (276) 964-5669
Application for Services: Contact Joyce Meade or County Case Manager
Population Served: Adults residents of Russell, Tazewell, and Buchanan Counties with a primary diagnosis of mental retardation or mental illness.
Catchment Area: Russell, Tazewell, and Buchanan Counties
Purpose: To provide food services training and sheltered employment for individuals with mental disabilities.
The Cumberland Food Services Program was established in 1988 in answer to the need for an innovative way to provide training and employment for the mentally disabled in an area where unemployment was already high and the mentally disabled individual had no hope of obtaining employment in the competitive job market. Equipment for a commercial kitchen was purchased with funds from the Department of Rehabilitative Services. In October 1988, the program was honored with the DRS Commissioners Cup Award for "outstanding contributions to persons with disabilities".
Food services training consists of a 14-week course with both classroom and on-location kitchen instruction. Individuals who complete the course receive a "Certificate of Completion". Some individuals will then go into competitive employment at a local food service business. However, most individuals remain in sheltered employment with Cumberland Food Services.
Sheltered employment is available within the "catering" division of the program and within the "special meals" division. Employees in each of these divisions earn at least minimum wage, working an average week of 25-30 hours. The program currently employs 26 individuals.
"Cumberland Catering" offers daily lunch menus to agency employees, consumers, and surrounding businesses. Additionally, this service is well-known and well-utilized by the public as a full-service caterer, experienced at catering for weddings, family/class reunions, civic activities, grand openings, and business meetings. The service also offers carry-out items for entertaining such as vegetable trays, pumpkin rolls, cheese braids, and miscellaneous hordoeuvres.
"Cumberland Special Meals" prepares over 1500 blast-frozen meals daily for delivery to senior citizens agencies for use in their meals program. Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (serving the counties of Tazewell, Russell, Buchanan, and Dickenson) and Mountain Empire Older Citizens (serving the counties of Lee, Scott, and Wise) have been purchasing meals since l988. First Tennessee Human Resources (Johnson City, Tennessee) has been purchasing meals for two years. We have been providing meals to District Three Governmental Cooperative (Marion, Virginia) for one year. The good news is that we are currently waiting on contracts from Campbell County Senior Citizens Services (Rustburg, VA) and Central Virginia Area Agency of Aging (Lynchburg, VA). These additional contracts will permit the employment of at least five additional individuals who have completed the food services training.
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