Ron Christian; Kyle Balzer, My PG Now

College of New Caledonia (CNC) culinary students helped the Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) Sunday by preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner for upwards of 800 people.

CNC has had volunteers help SVDP for 13 years and is a way for the students to help a worthwhile cause.

“It makes my day,” says CNC Instructor Ron Christian, who’s students volunteered to cook and serve.

“When I come here my day is fulfilled; and the students are starting to get that fulfilment in their as well to be able to help these people in need.”

The meal was prepared days prior to the event and has everything you could think of.

“They have roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, baked ham, cranberry sauce, buns and butter, a whole whack of stuff!” says Christian.

Upwards of 800 people enjoy a turkey dinner courtesy of SVDP & CNC; Matt Fetinko, My PG Now

In total, 10 students volunteered their time to serve, which is a couple more than in previous years.

“I put a posting up on our bulletin board asking for volunteers,” Christian explains.

“The first couple of days it was two people, then next couple of days it was 10 people! I usually only take eight, but I took all 10. So the appreciation is there.”

Christian says the lessons learned from simple acts of kindness, such as the one performed on Sunday, are invaluable.

“With younger people, some get it and some don’t. I try to get them to go talk to the people, this is what comradery is, so to speak.”

At the end of the day, Christian says all the time and effort is rewarded.

“The people are very appreciative of what we’re doing for them. They like to see the chefs in their whites and they feel important because they are being served.

“In most cases they give the students a standing ovation; and the students appreciate it as well.”