Culinary arts students at the F. Donald Myers BOCES Education Center have been preparing nutritious meals for the residents of Shelters of Saratoga since last fall.
The Culinary Kids Caring project receives produce and canned goods from the homeless shelter on Walworth Street in Saratoga Springs and turns them into meals for the 30 or more residents at the two shelter houses.
The students, for example, turn canned corn, green beans, chicken and pasta into a hearty soup that can be used for a lunch or dinner meal at the homeless shelter. They turn 100 pounds of flour into bread or muffins.
What: Culinary Kids Caring project to win a $25,000 grant
Where: State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist on Facebook
How: Cast up to 10 votes a day for Culinary Kids at https://apps.facebook.com/sf_neighbor_assist
When: Now through April 22
“The kids are super involved, they care and they show that they are giving back to the community,” said Chef Maureen Clancy, a culinary arts instructor at the Myers Center on Henning Road.
“This is a perfect project for us,” Clancy said about her 50 students.
She said the students are able to provide a community service while attending the culinary arts classes in the morning or afternoon conducted by the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
Sydney Jameson, a junior at Saratoga Springs High School, said she likes the project because “I can make food to help them so they can have a good meal.
“We pretty much get the raw materials from Shelters of Saratoga and find recipes so we can make dinners for them,” Jameson said.
“This week we made pork chops, shepherd’s pie and meat loaf,” Jameson said.
“I love it,” she added. “I want to own and run a restaurant. I’m going to go to college for culinary arts and a business degree.”
Clancy said, “We provide two or three dinners each week. They have two houses, and we provide for both.”
Bonnie Potter from Shelters of Saratoga drops off the food products “and we turn it into whatever type of meal we can,” Clancy said.
Now the Culinary Kids want to enhance the program. The project is among 200 selected to compete for 40 grants of $25,000 from the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program.
If the culinary program is selected, the grant money would go to Shelters of Saratoga to be used to buy foods and other necessities.
Voting is being conducted on Facebook through April 22.
Once each day, a person can visit the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook page (https://apps.facebook.com/sf_neighbor_assist) and cast up to 10 votes for Culinary Kids Caring by clicking on New York on the map and clicking on the bullet for Culinary Kids Caring, then progressively voting until zero votes remain.
On April 29, the top 40 vote-getters of the 200 programs across the nation selected by State Farm Neighborhood Assist will be awarded a $25,000 grant.
The grant, if awarded, will be administered by Shelters of Saratoga and will be used to buy foods that the BOCES students prepare for the shelter residents.
“Guests of the shelter are responsible for preparing their own meals. But they are not always as nutritious as they should be,” Clancy said.
“Our students, our experts, put together creative, nutritious menus, schedule preparation assignments and provide manpower and labor to prepare meals,” Clancy said.
The Culinary Kids’ latest project is developing a community garden on the Henning Road property with the help of BOCES horticulture students so locally grown produce can be used when creating meals.