2022 Sheryl V. Kerr Award Recipient
Beth Brewster received the 2022 Sheryl V. Kerr Award for her accomplishments as the driving force at the Chesapeake Culinary Center (CCC) in Denton, which she founded in 2005. The center’s focus is on job training, youth education, and economic development in Caroline County, critical issues in the area Mrs. Brewster recognized needed to be addressed.
In partnership with the Caroline County Public Schools, Town of Denton, Caroline County Government, and other organizations, CCC undertook the rehabilitation of the original Caroline County high school building, built in 1901.
The old building has been retrofitted with classrooms, training kitchens, and a retail store featuring local products. The building lends itself to be a community kitchen incubator for farmers to create added value products and promote small food-based businesses entrepreneurship. It also houses the Caroline Career and Technology Center’s culinary arts class allowing high school students to gain a job skill as well as a variety of community programs.
For many years, Mrs. Brewster has offered “The Dinner Party”, an after-school program for at-risk students, and “Cooking Matters”, a program to teach lower income families how to cook and shop on a budget. She leads “Farm to Freezer”, an in-house project capable of preserving up 20,000 pounds of local produce to serve all year.
Caroline Curbside Market is CCC’s newest project. A specially outfitted van – “Sho Go Mobile” – follows a busy weekday schedule traveling to food scarce areas of Caroline County to bring residents with mostly local fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat at deeply discounted prices.
Mrs. Brewster’s tireless efforts at CCC – in addition to her “day job” as Caroline County Public School’s Supervisor of Food Services – have earned her town, county, state, and national awards. She is legendary for her vision and innovation. Says Women & Girls Fund board member, Kathy Bosin, “Beth is one of the brightest stars on Delmarva.”
Established in 2015 with a grant from the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, the Sheryl V. Kerr Award can be given to an individual or organization. Recipients are identified and selected through an internal board review process that recognizes exceptional community outreach or work that aligns with strategic goals of the Women & Girls Fund. The late Shery Kerr, a philanthropist and vice-president of the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, was a proponent of women empowering women, which is hallmark of the Sheryl V. Kerr Award.
Previous distinguished recipients of the award are Maria D’Arcy, Estela Ramirez, Cheryl Hughes, Robbin Hill, Debbye Jackson, Peggy and John Ford, and Leslie Bishop.