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    Page Title| Happenings News Stories  2008

     

    November 12, 2008

    Ocean County Vo-Tech students make 2,000 Thanksgiving Day meals to go
    Jean Sullivian, November 12, 2008

    Brick, New Jersey- It took teamwork to complete a project of such magnitude: Together, 190 culinary arts students made almost 2,000 Thanksgiving meals for families in the county in just two days.

    Two class sessions at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School on both Monday and Tuesday deboned turkey, seasoned vats of gravy, glazed sweet potatoes and performed much more in preparation for today, when representatives from local agencies will pick up the meals for distribution.

    "This is my second year doing it, and I love it," senior Rachqel Rivera said. "It's a great experience."

    Rivera said instructor chef Jim O'Donnell is a great influence for students.

    "What he wants us to learn is we're a team, and it's all about giving," she said. "We learn that in a kitchen you can't do everything yourself. It's about helping each other and others."

    Preferred Behavioral Health will take 75 dinners, the state Division of Youth and Family Services North Office will get 210, and Ocean County Hunger Relief will take 800 plus any excess meals.

    "We do it all in three days, and it actually goes pretty fast," Rivera said. "We all know we're doing something amazing for somebody."

    "It's just a good feeling," added senior Cherie Rogers.

    The vocational school has been doing the community service project for more than 10 years.

    According to staff, it was difficult gathering donations this year. However, the school was able to get enough turkeys in time and, with grant money, purchased packing supplies and containers for all the meals.

    "With the tough economic times, there were fewer donations this year," said Jean Sullivan, director of communications. "They really had to work hard to make the meals needed."

    Each year, students help with a different part of the project depending on what grade they are in. They start with small things like side dishes, then move to making stocks and sauces, and finally handling the turkey.

    "This year, we are mainly dealing with the bird," senior Samantha Eberle said. "We tied them and took the dark meat off."

    Eberle and Joell Fernandez have been participating for four years and enjoy learning as much as helping others. "You're cooking for people and you get more experience," Fernandez said. "Doing this, it changes your life because you can see what a family needs."

    Principal Lynn Sauer said: "They really work very, very hard. Everybody pulls together here. When you walk through those doors and see all the food, it's just a tremendous amount of work that goes into this."BRICK — It took teamwork to complete a project of such magnitude: Together, 190 culinary arts students made almost 2,000 Thanksgiving meals for families in the county in just two days.

    Two class sessions at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School on both Monday and Tuesday deboned turkey, seasoned vats of gravy, glazed sweet potatoes and performed much more in preparation for today, when representatives from local agencies will pick up the meals for distribution.

    "This is my second year doing it, and I love it," senior Rachqel Rivera said. "It's a great experience."

    Rivera said instructor chef Jim O'Donnell is a great influence for students.

    "What he wants us to learn is we're a team, and it's all about giving," she said. "We learn that in a kitchen you can't do everything yourself. It's about helping each other and others."

    Preferred Behavioral Health will take 75 dinners, the state Division of Youth and Family Services North Office will get 210, and Ocean County Hunger Relief will take 800 plus any excess meals.

    "We do it all in three days, and it actually goes pretty fast," Rivera said. "We all know we're doing something amazing for somebody."

    "It's just a good feeling," added senior Cherie Rogers.

    The vocational school has been doing the community service project for more than 10 years.

    According to staff, it was difficult gathering donations this year. However, the school was able to get enough turkeys in time and, with grant money, purchased packing supplies and containers for all the meals.

    "With the tough economic times, there were fewer donations this year," said Jean Sullivan, director of communications. "They really had to work hard to make the meals needed."

    Each year, students help with a different part of the project depending on what grade they are in. They start with small things like side dishes, then move to making stocks and sauces, and finally handling the turkey.

    "This year, we are mainly dealing with the bird," senior Samantha Eberle said. "We tied them and took the dark meat off."

    Eberle and Joell Fernandez have been participating for four years and enjoy learning as much as helping others. "You're cooking for people and you get more experience," Fernandez said. "Doing this, it changes your life because you can see what a family needs."

    Principal Lynn Sauer said: "They really work very, very hard. Everybody pulls together here. When you walk through those doors and see all the food, it's just a tremendous amount of work that goes into this.


     


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