Student chefs put skills to good use


A few days before Christmas students of Christine Gras’ cooking class at St. Vincent de Paul Regional School, Mays Landing, shared their culinary gifts with the area’s needy.

Gras, the school’s advancement director, has been teaching an elective cooking class once a month for 12 students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. From 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Dec, 21, the students made 30 dinners, which included salad, penne pasta with homemade sauce and chicken parmesan. After the meals were packaged, members of the parish’s food pantry delivered the dinners to shut-in residents of Mays Landing.

The meals for shut-ins has been a tradition at the school for years, with teachers making dinners during the Christmas season. Principal Linda Pirolli and Gras thought it was appropriate for the students to prepare the meals this year, in keeping with the school’s mission of imitating its patron, who was dedicated to serving the poor.

St. Vincent de Paul served as parish priest near Paris where he started organizations to help the poor, nursed the sick and find jobs for the unemployed. He died in 1660 and was declared the patron of all charitable organizations and works by Leo XIII.