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SEPC Opens Application Period For Fresh Chefs Scholarship


The Southeast Produce Council has opened the application window for its scholarship program, SEPC Fresh Chefs.

The second annual opportunity for this program is open to any full-time college or secondary education student pursuing a degree in culinary arts or restaurant management. 

Student applicants will submit a video introducing themselves and explaining the importance of using fresh produce in menus. Applications will be accepted until May 12. Members of the SEPC foodservice committee will oversee the selection process and announce the recipients in June.

“After last year’s successful implementation of this program into SEPC’s portfolio, we cannot wait to offer this scholarship opportunity again to other produce professionals beginning their career in the culinary segment of our industry,” said Stanley Trout, SEPC board member and foodservice committee chairman, IPC.

“We’re also eager to reinforce our mission to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables by supporting young chefs as they become champions in their field striving to promote fresh produce.”

Each recipient of the SEPC Fresh Chefs Scholarship will receive one of three $1,500 scholarships toward their educational goals for the upcoming year. In addition to the scholarship funds, each recipient will also be invited to attend the SEPC’s Southern Innovations conference Sept. 14-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The SEPC will cover hotel and travel expenses to the event and will also provide an SEPC Fresh Chefs jacket for each recipient.

At Southern Innovations, the scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to network with hundreds of produce industry grower/shipper members, as well as the nation’s leading retailers and foodservice distributors.

SEPC has partnered with the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education to aid in distribution of the program to their member schools. Founded in 2002, CAFE specializes in providing needed resources to educators so that they may more successfully train students for vibrant, fulfilling careers in the ever-evolving foodservice industry. 

“We are proud to sponsor the SEPC Fresh Chefs scholarship for another year,” said Tim Graas, SEPC chairman of the board.

“For us to fully cultivate the future of produce, we knew we had to include all sectors of the industry, including providing more exposure for the culinary segment. There’s no better way to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables than by supporting those who are professionally trained to do so.”

For more information on SEPC Fresh Chefs or other SEPC educational programs and scholarships, visit seproducecouncil.com/education

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