Working in the food industry can make us a little crazy.

We often work long hours for low wages and always on nights and weekends and holidays under stressful conditions.

Our world gets compressed into our work and it is easy to feel like we are in a rut with no way out and no one who really understands.

Pressure to perform steals some of the happiness and fulfillment we once felt knowing that the wonderful food we create helps people feel healthy and happy and whole.

You are not alone. Many of us are locked in that negative vibe and are looking for something – anything – to make things better. Maybe that’s why some of us wind up making lifestyle choices make our situations even worse.

Maybe it would help to commune with folks who share similar experiences; but are not the same folks we see at work each day.

It might be rewarding to learn how sharing some of the skills we have learned can help others get on with their lives and make our lives better in the process.

It might reenergize us to become more involved in the greater community and to see that what we do really can make a difference for others, and for ourselves.

The Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego Education Foundation offer opportunities to network with industry insiders, learn new career skills, relax, unwind and explore employment and lifestyle alternatives.

You can choose to work on local projects that fight against the shameful food waste in the industry and aid programs that feed people facing food insecurity.

You can spend an hour or two sharing your skills with culinary students from difficult life paths who will owe you a debt of gratitude for the rest of their careers,

You can help youngsters in underserved communities learn how to choose and cook healthy meals and you can work with school vegetable garden projects that teach students to cook what they grow.

You can have a place to call home, with people who know the pain and frustration and the joy and the satisfaction of what we do. You can share a meal or a laugh or even a moment of inspiration.

Join an organization that makes you proud of your profession, better at what you do and a viable member of the broader San Diego and Baja Community. Don’t let your job make you crazy. Attend a meeting. Join. Volunteer. You are not alone. Join Now  Volunteer