The Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut, based in New Milford, is accepting applications for its next session.

The next 12-week program will start Jan. 7 at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Whittlesey Avenue.

“If you love to cook and are interested in an exciting new career opportunity, you may be a good candidate for the Community Culinary School,” said Dawn Hammacott, executive director of the school.

“The New Milford-Danbury area has more than 500 businesses that employ food service personnel,” Hammacott said.

“The industry is always in need of reliable, trained employees,” she said.

The school trains people ages 18 and older for jobs in food service.

Instructed by chef Blythe Roberts, the students will learn a range of cooking techniques in a full-scale kitchen.

The school also arranges internships for all students, trains them in the skills needed to get a job, and assists with job placement.

Additionally, the meals students prepare are distributed to those in need through the New Milford Food Bank.

Tuition is free for qualifying candidates.

The school was established in 2007 to provide unemployed and underemployed men and women with the skills they need to find jobs with career paths in the food service industry.

Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The school is modeled on the Community Kitchen program of the anti-hunger organization, Feeding America.

It relies largely on donations and grants, and has received support from the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Harcourt Foundation, the Meserve Memorial Fund, Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, Diebold Foundation, Woman’s Club of Danbury/New Fairfield, and other area foundations and civic organizations.

For information, call Dawn Hammacott at 203-512-5791 or email culinaryschool@sbcglobal.net.