Georgian students prepare holiday meal for the homeless

Students and employees across Georgian love to give back to the community – and generosity is exceptionally high during the holiday season.

Second-year Culinary Management students were busy prepping in the labs at the Barrie Campus over the past few weeks, getting ready to put together a special holiday lunch to clients of the David Busby Centre and the Elizabeth Fry Society.

Three people wearing white chef uniforms chopping up turkey pieces in a large kitchen

Students made over 200 “to-go” meals, which consisted of turkey and gravy, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes, bread, buns and butter – and a berry crumble for dessert.

In collaboration with various community partners and as part of their coursework, Georgian students have been preparing and serving (or delivering) the lunch for 18 years.

The chefs-in-training have the chance to hone their skills in the kitchen while making a meaningful difference during a time that can be difficult for many.

Three metal containers of food on a metal table in a kitchen. One container has stuffing and the two other containers have meat.
A big metal bowl of mixed vegetables

Putting together these holiday meals is one of our favourite things to do every day. All our second-year culinary students play a part. Year after year we can always count on faculty and staff to volunteer and come help out too.

Georgian Chef David Jones

Chef Jones says it has become an annual tradition that not only helps those in need in the community, but also serves as a learning experience for students.

“It was originally based on volunteering, but now we have actually built it into our labs,” explains Chef Jones. “It’s very meaningful for our students.”

A smiling older man in a chef uniform (David Jones) standing in a kitchen beside a young male in a chef uniform
A young male wearing a white chef uniform putting food into black containers in a kitchen

Chef Phil Leach adds the department intends to continue the initiative as part of its curriculum and part of its courses.

“It’s really important for students to understand that sense of community and community service.”

The David Busby Centre is a non-profit that advocates for, and helps improve conditions for, individuals and families in Simcoe County experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

The Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka is a non-profit that supports, advocates for, and empowers individuals at risk to enrich their lives and to inspire positive change in our community.

Stacks of black food containers on a wooden counter with people in white chef uniforms in the background.
A container with potatoes, turkey, dressing and vegetables on a wooden counter. There is a container with dessert beside it and a bun and a candy cane on a napkin.

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