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Students Serving Students: Proudly Supporting Meals With a Mission

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February 21, 2024

There’s a remarkable initiative taking place at Jefferson/Lewis/Hamilton/Herkimer/Oneida BOCES, spearheaded by Hospitality Services Instructor Margaret Coe. It’s called Meals with a Mission, and it’s more than just a program – it’s a lifeline for students facing food insecurity.

Hospitality students not only learn culinary skills, but also use those skills to prepare meals for their peers in need – and they aren’t just learning recipes, they’re learning the value of compassion and community service at the same time.

The students prepare nutritious meals, freeze them, and then send them home with under-resourced peers. The program is currently serving 17 students, providing them with meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Behind the scenes, we at United Way of Northern New York are proud to sponsor such an amazing program and love to deliver ingredients and supplies as needed.

Whether a family is struggling financially, or a caregiver is unwell, the support is there. Meals with a Mission extends beyond preparing food, it’s also about empowering students. From understanding ingredients to labeling containers, students are actively involved in every step of the process, and the program encourages collaboration across classrooms, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.

Our sponsorship reflects our commitment to addressing pressing issues in our communities, including food insecurity, and supporting initiatives that make a tangible difference. In a region where the need is significant, this partnership provides vital resources and amplifies the program’s impact.

As the program grows, so does its potential to transform lives.