Food service students produce a win-win - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Food service students produce a win-win

Xykia Thomas Xykia Thomas
Chase Misner Chase Misner
Blaine Allen Blaine Allen
Lorraine Montague Lorraine Montague
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some Dougherty County high school students are getting hands on experience in the school's cafeteria, while helping the system provide meals for at-risk children. It's part of a new program and partnership that organizers say is a win-win for everyone involved.

Several Westover High School students are busy in the school's cafeteria, food prepping. "It gives us an opportunity to learn how to work with the ovens and stuff," said 11th grader Xyaia Thomas.

"The importance is you actually get to understand how things work. Outside of reading about it, you actually experience it," said 12th grader Chase Misner.

But in addition to learning outside of the classroom, these teens are actually helping prepare 500 meals a day for children in need. "How can a child focus on math, reading and science when they don't know where their next meal is coming from? Our goal is to reduce those barriers so children can thrive," said Blaine Allen.

Six elementary schools now provide at-risk children with a third meal during after-school programs. It's made possible through the Bright from the Start program, which began this year.

"The experience has been overwhelming. Kids are excited, parents are excited. Prime example, a kid came in and said I'm thankful to be eating again," Allen said.

Eating food prepared for by these high schoolers, who became certified food handlers through this class.

"We've been learning about sanitation. We've been learning about food preparation, correct temperature. And they have this opportunity now in the kitchen to actually do real world experience, real life experience," said Family and Consumer Science Teacher Lorraine Montague.

Real life experience that's helping everyone involved.

The students get the food ready in the morning for the staff who come in, in the afternoon to bake everything. The food is then delivered from Westover High school to the six elementary schools.

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