Lake Forest High School teacher Kelly Haugh prepares salad as McKenzie Ivory and Jessica Sullivan look on.
Many people spend holidays with their families. For the families and patients at the Delaware Hospice Center, the holidays can be especially stressful.
One major challenge is for caregivers to take care of themselves with healthy meals. A full kitchen is available at the Hospice Center for families to use. Others may buy take-out or fast food from a nearby restaurant.
Students at Lake Forest High School are providing another option. As part of their Family & Consumer Science class, several students planned and prepared a lasagna dinner for Delware Hospice Center families last month.
Other students, members of the Family Career Community Leaders of America organization, transported the meal to DE Hospice and served it to guests.
“Outreach is a big part of what we do at Lake Forest, and this opportunity is a great way for us to connect with our community,” said Jessica Sullivan, a Lake Forest senior.
Beverly Crowl, public relations specialist at Delaware Hospice, was on hand to help with the meal.
“We were so grateful for the caring and generosity of the Lake Forest students in cooking a meal for our families. It was a wonderful treat for them, not to mention a delicious one,” Crowl said.
The project brings together many of the skills students learn in the class: planning portion size; shopping for ingredients; preparing a dish for a large number of people.
Carole Breitkeitz, BC-FNP, coordinator at the Bayhealth Wellness Center, Lake Forest High School, is a long-time volunteer with Delaware Hospice and helped coordinate the dinner program.
“I knew firsthand how hard it can be to take care of details like meals when you’re visiting a family member in Hospice,” she said. “It seemed like a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their talents and help others.”
Breitkeitz drove the students to Hospice and helped serve the meal.
Faculty member Kelly Haugh, who teaches the Family & Consumer Science class, also helped serve. She described the team effort that went into the first meal for Hospice families.
“It gives the students a real-life chance to apply the cooking techniques and nutrition guidelines we study in class,” she said. “They also work with other student groups to coordinate transportation and funding.”
Once the menu had been decided—beef lasagna, tossed salad, and brownies—the Lake Forest Student Council and Food Bank contributed towards the cost of ingredients.
The students plan to continue the program as part of the course curriculum.
“This was really moving,” said McKenzie Ivory, a Lake Forest senior who helped serve dinner. “It was a good feeling to know that we helped someone in a tough situation.”