Weatherford High School’s culinary arts classes teamed up with the Weatherford Evening Lions Club to help make the holidays a little brighter for those who may be less fortunate. Thanks to a large donation from the Weatherford Evening Lions Club – as well as other donations from local individuals – the WHS culinary arts classes prepared full Thanksgiving meals for about 25 families of high school students.
“It’s good for our [Lions] club to give back, and it’s good for the culinary arts kids to understand that they are making a difference by preparing these meals for others,” Weatherford Evening Lions Club member and owner of The Pizza Place Roger Grizzard said. “Although a few more individuals helped donate money this year, we are hoping others will join us next year in this worthwhile effort.” Grizzard said the idea for organizing these meals came at the conclusion of the high school’s annual Career and Technology Advisory Committee meeting in October.
“At the end of the meeting, the Weatherford Evening Lions Club and WHS culinary arts classes were looking for some type of service project,” he added, “and that’s when this project sort of mushroomed.” WHS culinary arts teachers Heather Gonzalez and Carolyn Cowden both loved the idea, and the high school counselors assisted in screening those families who will benefit from the turkey dinners.
“Several teachers and other volunteers have agreed to carry the meals to the designated families this afternoon,” Gonzalez said. “Once packages are delivered, each family will have a full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.” The turkeys and other food items were purchased locally, and the culinary arts students are preparing full meals for each identified family. The items on the menu include turkey breast, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie.
The Weatherford High School culinary arts department is designed to help students establish a platform for a career in the food service culinary industry. It also uses a commercially-equipped kitchen as a learning laboratory while coordinating complementary educational opportunities with the food service community.