Vineyarders can now train here for certification that enables them to help prepare fresh local food in school cafeterias, an important piece of supporting Island food service staff and the extra work it takes to use fresh, rather than canned or frozen, food in school meals and snacks.

The ServSafe certification training will take place June 1 on the Vineyard, at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs.

Anyone ServSafe certified also can work in commercial kitchens during the summer months to do value-added processing, turning basil into pesto, tomatoes into sauce, and other work to extend the summer bounty for schools through the winter months. It also qualifies certified people to oversee other volunteers in the kitchen.

If you are interested in supporting the food service staff at your school community in this way, call the Island Grown Initiative at 508-645-9557 for more information. The cost of the one-day course and certification is $185; however the initiative received a grant from the Samuel Rubin Fund to send five community members to be ServSafe certified, so these subsidized spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.