The business of helping teaches Camosun students what really counts
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March 8, 2011
One of Camosun College’s strengths is providing real-world experience for students throughout their education. First-year students from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program experienced the heart of that lesson when they helped staff and volunteers prepare and serve lunch at Our Place February 22.
"Social responsibility is a curriculum requirement at the School of Business," says David Armstrong, program leader of the two-year Hotel and Restaurant Management program. "We want our students to graduate with a sense of community responsibility and responsiveness. When Reverend Al Tysick approached us about a day of service at Our Place, our students welcomed the opportunity to help."
The Giving Back field exercise saw four Camosun Hotel and Restaurant Management instructors and 29 students help prepare and serve a special menu meal. Camosun’s students provided table service for 500 people, rather than a standard queue service.
"Taking the time to share my new-found knowledge and experience with those less fortunate than me was amazing," says Alex Cunow-Wicks, a first-year Hotel and Restaurant management student. "I have never heard as many thank you’s as I noticed from the individuals who attended the dinner we served to the clients of Our Place. I am proud of being part of Camosun and the Hotel/Restaurant Management program. This experience has inspired me to do more within the community."
Brian Cox is the manager of food services at Our Place and a graduate of Camosun’s Culinary Arts program. "The students were highly organized and efficient," says Cox. "Basically we turned on the equipment and watched these students put their learning to work. We were impressed, and pleased to provide this opportunity."
"The triple bottom line—people, planet and profit—is simply an adage, until you’re looking across the table at someone who wants a good meal provided with respect and a smile," says Armstrong.
While Our Place secures most food supplies through year-round community discounts and donations, pears were part of the February 22 dessert menu, thanks to Camosun’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program. Russ Benwell, owner of the Red Barn Market on West Saanich Road, stepped up to the plate with a donation of 127 pounds of pears!
Camosun Hotel and Restaurant Management instructor, Carl Everitt, planned the menu – smoked pork tenderloin, root vegetable puree, baby bok choy with a chipotle tomato sauce and caramelized pear and ginger cake.
Camosun programs and students support a range of community initiatives. Food security and social justice are at the heart of the non-profit Good Food Society, which acts as an alternative distribution system for fresh produce to local communities who are most food-insecure including low income, at risk and Aboriginal families. On March 6, Camosun’s Culinary Arts department fundraised for the Good Food Society by making and selling 150 liters of soup at the Root Cellar Market.
Last updated: March 10, 2011 11:19 am