Twenty turkeys, 100 pounds of mashed potatoes, 50 pounds of sweet potatoes, 80 pounds of stuffing, 25 pounds of assorted vegetables, more than five gallons of gravy, and a lot of love goes into the almost 200 Thanksgiving dinners that will be prepared this year by Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Arts students and volunteers.
This year’s turkey-day tradition celebrates the 11th year that dozens of the college’s students and faculty members will volunteer their cooking expertise to provide holiday meals to those in need. This will also be the third year that SCCC’s culinary arts program will prepare Thanksgiving dinners for Community Action-Southold Town’s Greenport-based food pantry.
Community Action-Southold Town is a not-for-profit established in 1965 to help low-income residents meet basic needs in the areas of nutrition, employment, energy, and education. The organization creates a safety net for Southold Town families with most funding coming from the generosity of the community.
“We started back in the fall of 2009 to make this event happen,” chef instructor and organizer Vincent Winn said. “We here at the college are the workforce behind the preparation of the food. We volunteer our time and effort, but the food is purchased with contributions from donors and retail stores.”
Students from the culinary, baking, hospitality, dietetic technician, and licensed practical nursing programs join faculty chefs, college staff, administrators, and community volunteers to prepare and individually package healthy Thanksgiving meals.
“We are doing this in a full-scale culinary lab,” Winn said. “Together as a community college and student body it is very fulfilling to be able to help out in the community.”
Dinner preparation is on Wednesday, November 27, beginning at 8 AM at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary School located at 20 East Main Street in Riverhead. Meal packaging will begin at 12:30 PM.