Free food safety training course offered to Veterans, homeless

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A costly class is holding some people back from getting work in the food service industry, until now.

An instructor in the New River Valley is covering the cost of the class to help more people fulfill their dreams.

Typically people can't get hired in restaurants or the food service industry without taking a food safety course. They run anywhere from $125 to $175.

A Food Services company here is stepping in to help people who can't pay that fee.

Staff at MINE, ME, & US Montessori School make sure they're only serving the finest organic food.

"It's been really beneficial for us to know everything on how to do food safely with children," said Rachel Burnsma, the owner of the school.

The school is ServSafe certified to provide only the best to their students with help from Keith Rahn, from NRV Food Service Consultants.

"We provide training to individuals who are either working in the restaurant field or want to get into the restaurant field," said Keith Rahn, owner of NRV Food Service Consultants.

He provides classes to businesses and people in the community that serve food to enhance their service. But after an encounter with a man who was homeless, he had an idea to help more people in the area.

"I said hey, here's my business card, give me a call when you have a chance and I will see if we can help you find a job, get you trained, so that way we can help you get back on your feet. And we started talking to him and we found out he was a veteran. And that's how this program started," Rahn said.

He's now offering free food safety training courses to people who are veterans, homeless, or don't have enough funds.

"The community has been really supportive throughout this whole endeavor with my company and I want to give back," Rahn said.

People will learn how to proper store, cook, and serve food.

Rahn, he set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to completely fund the courses at no cost to the students. Find the link at the top of this page.