Father Ryan Students Prepare Christmas Meals for Homeless

Students at Father Ryan High School are learning more than basic biology and standard arithmetic this year. They are learning to cook. Father Ryan created a new after-school Cooking Club this school year that partnered groups of students with a chef from the school’s food service provider, Pedestal Foods, and giving them a chance to share their new skills by preparing meals for the homeless this holiday season.

The club, which meets once a month, teaches students about kitchen safety and food sanitation in addition to recipes for nutritious meals and basic meal prep techniques. Father Gervan Menezes, the chaplain at Father Ryan and advisor for the Cooking Club, said the students are learning more than just how to cook a simple meal; they are learning to give back.

“Having the students prepare food for others opens their eyes to the positive impact they can have on the community while also exposing them to new career opportunities,” Father Menezes said. “We are thrilled to provide our students with these skills that are so central to our core mission at Father Ryan.”

Each year, Father Ryan opens their doors to 20 people in need of food and shelter during the holidays in partnership with Room at the Inn, a local shelter for the homeless. The student chefs prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, December 23, in advance of the overnight stay.

The cooking club started in August with the new school year, and the students have since prepared a variety of dishes, including an Italian pasta dish in September and Mexican fiesta spread in October. Father Menezes says the club has continued to grow in popularity with the students, and the school will continue to operate the Cooking Club with Pedestal Foods next year.

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