The OSU Institute of Technology Culinary Arts student club, Future Chefs Association, is preparing for their annual Thanksgiving meal for the local women’s shelter.
An FCA tradition, preparing the meal is just one of many ways the students are able to give back to the Okmulgee community.
“Every semester, FCA looks for a way to help our community and this is a tradition that the students look forward to each November,” said Becca Johnston, FCA advisor and Culinary Arts faculty.
Kim Labor, vice president of FCA, says this will be the second year she has participated and that this event is important to her.
“I spent 17 years in law enforcement and working with shelters, so I ‘m familiar with what these women and children are going through,” said Labor. “For us to be able to give back and make this feel more like a home away from home, it means a lot to me.”
Twenty students from the FCA club will prepare the meal for next Tuesday’s Thanksgiving dinner.
The meal is a traditional Thanksgiving menu complete with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin and pecan pie and a shelter favorite, corn casserole.
“Many of these women may not have facilities or resources to cook a full Thanksgiving meal,” said Johnston. “This provides them a way to have a traditional, freshly cooked meal to enjoy with their children.”
The club holds many fundraising events throughout the year, including raffles and catering.
“This last year we really wanted to give more back to the community since we had raised so many funds,” said Johnston. “The students were very receptive to that.”
The Future Chefs Association is part of the American Culinary Federation, Tulsa Chapter. FCA strives to uphold the honor and dignity of the culinary profession, stimulate a higher order of professional standards among members and foster educational programs. They also promote fellowship and cooperation among the culinary profession in Oklahoma.
“It makes it worthwhile just to see the expressions on their face, being happy and with their children,” said Labor. “To be able sit down and have a meal again as a family without having to worry.”