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SERC Students Prepare 1000 Festive Meals & Sweet Treats for Community

Food bank and three people in masks for the food truck
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Hospitality and Catering students at South Eastern Regional College’s (@S_ERC) Bangor and Newtownards Campuses have been supporting the local community by preparing 1000 Christmas dinners and festive treats for local people in the run up to Christmas as part of their project-based learning. 

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering at the College said, “Hospitality and catering students at both Bangor and Newtownards Campuses have been very busy making 1000 Christmas dinners, which were chilled and ready to reheat at home along with over 1000 pieces of shortbread and mince pies and 300 packs of marshmallow snowmen and gingerbread reindeers for children.    

He added, “The students, from Level 2 and Level 3 Professional Cookery and Patisserie and Baking courses, not only made the food, but were involved in distributing to clients of Bangor Food Bank and Community Support and Newtownards Foodbank last Thursday in Bangor when they also handed out festive hot dogs from the College Food Truck.   Meals were also delivered straight from the College to agencies working with people in need in the Bangor and Newtownards areas. 

Paul concluded, “This has been a very difficult year for many, many people.   Covid-19 has impacted on every aspect of life. Our hospitality and catering students who usually gain valuable experience and skills to complement their studies through the College’s cafes and restaurants and through working in local cafes, restaurants and hotels, both in the kitchen and front of house, were unable to do so this year.   But by harnessing all their skills and learning for the good of the community, they have continued to progress, and we have been able to supply over 1000 Christmas meals and festive treats for children.” 

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said, “I am delighted that Ards and North Down Borough Council was able to support SERC in this initiative. Bangor Foodbank and Community Support and Newtownards Foodbank are charities that I am supporting during my term as Mayor and I was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the SERC students. 

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“They successfully embraced the challenge of preparing and distributing more than 1000 meals for the benefit of others. Not only did this give the students a great opportunity for some hands-on learning but it also provided many vulnerable residents with a delicious festive meal that they could eat in their own home. This was another excellent example of the fantastic community spirit that has been evident right across our borough throughout this year.” 

Bangor Food Bank and Community Support and Newtownards Food Bank are amongst the chosen charities for Mayor of Ards & North Down Borough Council, Councillor Trevor Cummings, who welcomed the activities of the students and came along to show his support at the food collection point at Elim Church. 

Ken Scott, Bangor Foodbank and Community Support said, “This is a prime example of organisations coming together to help those in need in the community. We are delighted with the support of the College and of course the young people.” 

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