SERC cooks up food donations in college kitchen

SERC COOKING RI Farm
MEALS: SERC Innovations Advisor Megan Rollins, Comber, and Dearbhla Knight, Bryansford, display some of the baked goods and freshly cooked and chilled food meals prepared in the college ready for distribution to local organisations.

THE Hospitality and Catering team from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) has been putting its skills and facilities to good use by creating nutritious meals for vulnerable people in the local community, which were distributed from the college’s Downpatrick campus and delivered to clients of Golden Memories, the student company activity group for older people.

Thanks to the donation of a £1,000 grant from Food for Life Get Togethers, which is run by the Soil Association and funded through the Community Fund to help with the emergency response for those struggling for food during the Covid-19 pandemic, teams from SERC’s Hospitality and Catering, student company Golden Memories and Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, purchased ingredients to make nutritious meals, including roast stuff chicken, sausages, mash and vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and

PREPARED: SERC Downpatrick Campus, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer Thomas Turley, Heather McKee, Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support and Raey Price, Catering Technician ready to distribute freshly cooked and chilled food.

onion gravy, vegetable broth and wheaten bread and assorted muffins, which were prepared in the college’s training kitchens by catering lecturers and support staff.

Thomas Turley, lecturer in Hos-pitality and Catering, said: “Our aim was to produce, cook and chill food to be reheated at home and we were delighted to make over 250 meal donations to clients from local partner organisations, including Radius Housing’s Quoile Fold, MACS Supporting Children and Young People, Mindwise Downpatrick, Down Sure Start, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Adult Learning Disability Resource Cen-tre, Simon Community NI and Golden Memories.

“We have been working with our partners to organise for the food to be collected by representatives and clients, or distributed to

vulnerable people in the com-munity who are self-isolating who do not have a family member or neighbour who can deliver shopping to their doorstep whilst following strict social distancing guidelines.”

Thomas concluded: “Securing the funding allowed us to utilise our skills, experience and facilities to help respond to localised food needs by working with local organisations to distribute to those most vulnerable. It has been great for us also to get back into the college kitchens, do what we love and share our passion for good food by supporting people in the local community during these challenging times.”

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