By Mary Ellen Adams, CIP Berkshire Career Instructor
Here at CIP Berkshire Center our students have a long tradition of being part of a community service event by cooking and serving a “free” community supper at the Congregational Church in Lee, MA.
Our first community supper this year was held on Wednesday, October 13th, and we will be sponsoring more throughout the school year. The dinner usually serves anywhere between 50-85 people who have an option of giving a donation towards the meal.
This community service event involves our students who perform different duties throughout the day. Students begin early in the day at 9:30 setting up tables, place settings, and the coffee station. Students work together from 1:00 to 4:00 cooking a complete meal from scratch for a large group, to ensure all is ready to serve by 5:30pm. Preparation is supervised by Mary Ellen Adams career/cooking instructor who also has planned the menu with suggestions from the students.
Other students have the job to serve the public with a “smile” and to use excellent customer service skills, as well as sitting with the community to practice communication skills. Another group does the clean up duty including dish washing, sweeping, wiping counters and stoves. This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents in cooking, hospitality; as well as practice using their social skills. This month we served gourmet vegetable lasagna with garlic bread and Caesar salad. For dessert we served brownie ice cream sundaes.
The Career Department Staff, Residential Staff and others assist in guiding the students through their duties. The students worked hard to make this event a whopping success, and we had a record turnout of at least 70 people! Community Service events like this one is one way we teach the students to give freely to the community. Our students give their best efforts, and we are very proud of each and every student who participates.
[flickr album=72157625190910130 num=20 size=Square]