Georgian students prepare holiday meals for unhoused people
Dec. 18, 2023
Georgian College culinary students and instructors brought a taste of the holidays to clients of the Busby Centre and Elizabeth Fry Society Simcoe Muskoka on Friday by cooking and packaging about 300 turkey dinners.
“That’s just over 400 pounds of turkey, 150 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of vegetables and stuffing, plus 300 individual apple berry crumbles,” says Chef Philip Leach, coordinator of Georgian’s culinary programs.
Georgian has been preparing holiday meals for unhoused people in the community for about 18 years, and more recently made the initiative a part of the culinary curriculum to complete a community service learning outcome.
Jacob Magny, a second-year Culinary Management student, was one of the students participating in this year’s holiday meal prep.
“All last week we prepared throughout our classes and organized the team to be the most effective. It’s nice to see us work together,” he says. “It’s also really nice to give back to the community, especially around Christmastime. Even me and my family have struggled sometimes so it’s nice to be able to give back.”
Helping the community is the most important part of the initiative, says Philip, and the college is grateful to several sponsors for helping make it happen: Central Supply Solutions, Stewart Food Service, A.J. Lanzarotta Wholesale Fruit & Vegetables Ltd., and The Butcher Shoppe.
“We want everyone to have a nice festive meal for the holidays and nobody left behind,” says Philip. “There are volunteers doing this work on a daily basis, and we as a college and a community can give them a little bit of a break. They’re the angels doing this work all the time.”