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NEW YORK CITY — The love of food is bringing struggling cooks and kids together at a cooking school in Manhattan.

“It was difficult for me to be around people,” said cooking student Jonathan Colon, who suffers from anxiety and paranoia.

“Couldn’t go to the store, couldn’t do anything by myself.”

Colon found the courage to face his fears 18 months ago and enrolled in Fedcap’s morning cooking class.

Fedcap Cooking School’s Chef Lex Aquino said he has students who come in dealing with disorders like anxiety and severe depression.

Colon said his love for cooking makes him feel much better being there.

“I love cooking,” Colon said. “I can lose myself in it. I feel so much better being here.”

After spending the morning cooking, Colon spends his afternoons working as a dishwasher at the school in Midtown.

“We get to give them employment that is dynamic, that they can skin their teeth into,” Aquino said. “They can discover themselves newly, that they can be developed and be self-expressed.”

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