Posted November 23, 2021
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and Cassandra Marr of the Salvation Army of Lorain is thankful that the LCCC Culinary Arts program and its students were able to step up and help provide 350 meals for residents of three local shelters.
“We’re very appreciative of the help,” Marr said. “It was a big deal to be able to work together in this manner with Chef Adam Schmith and his students.”
It was a big deal because the chef that usually prepares the Thanksgiving meals for the Salvation Army wasn’t available this year.
“We started asking around to see who might be able to help,” she said. Oliva Sliman suggested that Marr contact Chef Adam at LCCC. The Sliman family has been providing the turkeys for the meal for the past five years, Marr noted.
“Chef Adam was willing right away and it’s such a blessing because time was ticking away and we weren’t sure what we were going to do,” Marr said. “This all came about just last week.”
Schmith said this was an opportunity for the LCCC Culinary Arts program to assist organizations within the community.
“It’s who we are and what we do beyond the development of each student,” Schmith said. “This is a great way for our students to realize the impact that their culinary skills can have when they are able to volunteer and help feed those in need in the community.”
A team of 14 LCCC Culinary Arts students along with Schmith and Chef Brad Ball prepared 25 turkeys and all of the usual Thanksgiving side dishes on Monday and Tuesday – roughly 1,000 pounds of food. They packed it all into 350 separate to-go meal containers and the Salvation Army picked them up Tuesday afternoon and distributed them to the Valor Home, the Haven Center and the St. Elizabeth Center Tuesday evening.
For students like Andre Mooney, of Lorain, and Amanda Endrizal, of Avon, helping to prepare a large community meal enhances the learning they are already receiving in the program.
“There’s always things to learn and improve upon,” said Mooney, a first-year culinary student. “Doing something like this helps you learn about how other organizations work and how to help them. I love being here every day and being able to help the community.”
Endrizal, a second-year culinary student, said she loves the program because it’s very family-like.
“I’m always here to help and we have a great group of students and it’s important to give back to the community when you have the chance,” she said. “Giving back is what it’s all about for Thanksgiving.”
Marr said working with local organizations like LCCC supports the community and at the same time creates important connections across the community.
“The students get a chance to shine and show what they can do while helping the community. We’re all serving the same people,” Marr said. “We’re all connected in some way and this makes our community even stronger.”
For more information on the LCCC Culinary Arts program, visit http://www.lorainccc.edu/culinary.