The HCC Unity Club held two bake sales this fall, raising $250 for Kate's Kitchen in Holyoke, which is part of Providence Ministries for the Needy. Club members took the donation one step further, however, by volunteering Saturday, Dec. 8, at the community kitchen, where they prepared and served the meal.
"Volunteering made our donation go that much further," said Elizabeth Hernandez, Unity Club secretary.
Aramark, HCC's food service vendor, also helped by donating 60 pounds of pasta and a case of sauce. The club cooked enough chicken Cacciatore to feed 200 diners. For dessert, they served pumpkin pie and brownies.
"Its really great to raise money and give it to programs and organizations to help the community but it's another thing to really be involved the way we were," said club member Diana Perez.
Kate's Kitchen is a daily noon-time food program that serves a hot, nutritious meal to anyone in need, no questions asked. It is open 365 days a year.
"This was a great experience for club members," said club advisor Dorothy Blair. "We felt a special closeness to our local community and made a few friends in the process. We worked so well as a team, it seemed as if we were experienced chefs. Our dish came out delicious and received many compliments."
How do you beat an experience like that? You do it again, said Blair. And so, the Unity Club is scheduled to prepare and serve another meal at Kate's Kitchen on Jan. 5, 2013.
The Unity Club is also collecting non-perishable food for a new food pantry at HCC, which is going to be called the CommUNITY Cupboard. The club is in need of microwavable food items, soups, drinks, energy bars, pasta, sauces, small cereal boxes, snacks, sample sized shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotions. Anyone wishing to donate can drop off items in a box located in the Student Activities office in DON 101 or in DON 135.
Photos: Unity Club members cooked and served a meal at Kate's Kitchen in Holyoke on Saturday, Dec. 8.