Cooking Up A Batch Of Charity

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by Myles Goldman

Back in the mid 1970’s Westborough High School had several different versions of cooking clubs or classes.  This included the Chef’s Club and Creative Cookery club.  Now, over thirty years later, Westborough High School has a new cooking club which is about more than food and about striving to give back to the community.  Mrs. Leuci, the club’s advisor explained, “it’s about time we brought it back into the present.”

The Community Cooking Club started when club president Brianna Gross heard of Rachel’s Table, an organization based out of Worcester.   Brianna says it is, “a volunteer organization that delivers food to homeless shelters.”   After contacting Mrs. Leuci and asking her whether she would be the advisor, Brianna wrote a letter to Mr. Smith asking for his approval of the club.

The first meeting of the organization took place last January with only a small group of students.  For this year, the club received a 750 dollar grant from the Westborough Education Foundation to purchase cooking supplies and ingredients.

The club’s first meeting this year was on October 7th.  A general cooking session consists of cooking a main dish, which generally will be a casserole.  A side course will also be prepared along with desert.  Sometimes the sessions will have themes to them. For example, all of the dishes will come from a certain country.   At the latest cooking session, on October 28th, the club kept their theme to fall foods.  A dish of baked stuffed peppers was prepared, along with a side helping of butternut squash, and in honor of Halloween the group baked Halloween cupcakes.  Twenty five of the local area’s less fortunate benefited from the meal after it was delivered by Rachel’s Table, still warm out of the oven, to Friendly House in Worcester.

With charity in mind, however, this club has a larger goal than the next meal.  The club would like to raise awareness of hunger taking place both in the local area and in the United States.  Club Officer Shannon White explained, “Not very many people realize how hunger has an impact on many in the U.S.”

In the short term the club is off to a great start with many students signing up for the first two cooking sessions.  Brianna commented, “it’s been going wonderfully.”

Students can sign up for upcoming cooking sessions and stay tuned to club news by going to The Community Cooking Bulletin Board.  The board is located across from room C213, the food lab, where the club meets.  Twelve openings are available per session, and it’s on a first come first serve basis.  The exception to this is for anyone who has never had the opportunity to cook will be placed ahead of a student who has already participated.  Generally, there will be one to two cooking sessions per a month.

“Good things are cooking in here,” according to Mrs. Leuci, and she’s right.  Not only is the food lab receiving a delicious smell, but the smell of warmth is extending beyond Mrs. Leuci’s classroom and into the local community.