BH-BL High School students deliver pies to those in need at The City Mission of Schenectady

City Mission and CEO Mike Saccocio thanks Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students Kyle Desjaden, Chris Ricketts, Sierra Dunleavy, Danielle Baas, and Cassidy Simmons Thursday.
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City Mission and CEO Mike Saccocio thanks Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students Kyle Desjaden, Chris Ricketts, Sierra Dunleavy, Danielle Baas, and Cassidy Simmons Thursday.

SCHENECTADY – Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School students made and donated 40 pies to The City Mission of Schenectady as a way to help those in need.

Students taking the Food Prep and Nutrition Course at BH-BL High School made 40 pumpkin pies to donate to the City Mission of Schenectady dining center. A group of the students brought the pies to the Mission earlier this week.

Students in the class calculated the cost for ingredients, worked in groups of four to make two pies in each group, prepped the pie crusts and fillings and baked the pies.

“It’s really nice to know that making these pies wasn’t just for an assignment,” senior Danielle Baas said. “It’s also to help people who otherwise wouldn’t have that.”

The class has been making pies to donate to local organizations for over a decade, said Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Sarah Weed.

“They don’t just walk right into the kitchen, there’s a planning process,” Weed said. “There’s a costing portion, they figure out how much their ingredients are going to cost, that’s a one-block session, 82 minutes, and then making the pies is another class, so it’s about three hours in total, and for this semester we have five classes making pies.”

The students are interested not only in the baking element of making the pies, but also in giving back, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Kate Jones said.

“The kids are fully invested in this,” Jones said. “Yes, it’s part of the curriculum, but they really dove in and did research about The City Mission. It’s really a good opportunity for them, it really hits home. They’re not sad the pies are given away, they are excited to give back and be part of something a little bit bigger.”

A group of the students who took the class delivered the pies to The City Mission of Schenectady Thursday afternoon.

“I like the idea of giving back,” said Senior Sierra Dunleavy. “When I was little, I always liked giving back. I’ve always been a very compassionate person, who liked giving. So the idea of giving to someone who doesn’t have that much is what I wanted to do, and that’s why I’m here.”

The teachers took their time to help and guide the students through the process of making the pies, explained senior Kyle Desjadon.

“My favorite part was making the dough, it was a little challenging,” Desjadon said. “What I learned from it was don’t stress, just take your time and you’ll make it.”

According to the organization’s executive director Mike Saccocio, the Schenectady City Mission feeds about 600 community members every day, and sees the need increase more around the holidays.

Saccocio thanked the students for their donation. He explained the goal of the City Mission is to not only provide help for today, but hope for tomorrow, and the students’ donation of handmade pies is a way to make someone’s meal “special.”

“Things like homemade pies from high school students really matter,” Saccocio said. “It really is just much more than just a piece of pie, it’s a feeling like ‘I’m celebrating the holidays too’ and ‘I matter.’ It’s great to see high school students who want to make a difference, that they really care about their neighbors.”

The City Mission works to provide basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing to those in need. This week, the Schenectady City Mission returned to offering in-person meals for those in need, after the meals had changed to exclusively to-go during the pandemic. About 100 men, women and children were able to enjoy the first in-person meal this week.

Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

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