Eating as one

Eric Sparling
Published on December 15, 2012
Grade 1 student Hunter Ayre enjoys dessert at the end of Cumberland North Academy’s turkey dinner Friday, accompanied by educational assistant Freda Sears
Eric Sparling - Amherst Daily News

Area school serves turkey lunch for 360

BROOKDALE – There’s turkey dinners and then there’s turkey dinners. More than 300 servings of the holiday favourite were enjoyed for lunch Friday by students, staff and volunteers at Cumberland North Academy.

“This is absolutely wonderful,” said the Julia King. The parent of a Grade 6 student was helping on the foodline.

Tables filled the gymnasium. Two different lines of volunteers served turkey and potatoes, veggies and rolls.

“Normally we have three separate lunch hours,” said Principal Kathy Wells.

Having the school share a meal fosters a sense of community, according to Wells. That sentiment was shared.

“It brings everyone together,” said Grade 3 teacher Kristy Hoeg.

And food services manager Jennifer Mapplebeck, who organizes a similar event for seven other schools, too, said it was one of the reasons the work was worth doing – that, and the fact it might be the only turkey dinner some students would have this Christmas season.

“The kids are so excited about it,” she said.

Making and serving 360 portions of lunch takes a lot of resources. Area businesses, volunteers, and the school’s PTA, called Home and School, stepped up to make it happen. Oxford Frozen Foods, Scotsburn and Superstore donated food, while the Amherst Stadium lent the school tables. The principal estimated 40 volunteers took part in the event.

Jack Fraser, a primary student, wore a Hulk tee-shirt big enough to fit the fictional green rageaholic. The lad said the potatoes were his favourite part of the meal. The event was praised by the exuberant boy.

“It was awesome!”