Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES students provided 10 full Thanksgiving meals to families in the area this week in a new program being dubbed “Torchgiving.”
Both the North Franklin Educational Center’s student council and students in the school’s Culinary Arts program were involved in bringing Torchgiving to fruition.
The service project, which was the brainchild of NFEC Executive Principal Shawn McMahon and Counselor Heather Gonia, will provide full Thanksgiving meals to 10 local families. Each of the five school districts served by North Franklin Educational Center – Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Malone, St. Regis Falls and Salmon River – chose one family from their elementary level and one from their secondary level to receive a dinner.
Culinary Arts teacher Joel Deragon worked with his junior class to plan and price out the meals. Culinary Arts students then spent several days over the last week cooking, preparing and packaging dinners with all the fixin’s, including turkey, ham, veggies and – of course – pie.
The NFEC student council voted to approve the project and led a four-day fundraising campaign to cover the expenses. Donations hadn’t been totaled yet when school got out Tuesday afternoon, but they had reached above $500.
A group of students and staff loaded up the supplies Tuesday and delivered them to the school districts.
“We have been looking for a way to make a difference in our communities, and this seemed like both a great educational experience for our Culinary Arts class and an awesome opportunity to give back,” McMahon said. “We all hope that this work will make a big difference for some local families and help them have a happy holiday.”