Service Learning Means Feeding the Hungry for City Tech Students

For the last 25 years, City Tech has served Brooklyn’s neediest at the holidays by offering a meal prepared by City Tech Hospitality Management faculty and student volunteers. On December 19, twenty students and four faculty volunteers prepared a special holiday meal that fed 350 people at CHiPS, a Park Slope charity that serves the hungry and homeless regardless of faith, race or ethnicity.

Professor Jean Claude with Denise Scaravella (in red) and student volunteers.

Professor Jean Claude with Denise Scaravella (in red) and student volunteers.

City Tech purchased all food items and provided the expertise needed to plan and prepare a festive holiday dinner at CHiPS. Students organized fundraising events to collect the money needed to purchase food including, through the City Tech Foundation, auctioning off a cooking class to the college community.

“Service learning is a unique opportunity to teach our students how to become better citizens,” said Professor Jean Claude, who has led the holiday dinner effort for the last 14 years. “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you are helping someone during the holidays, and it’s very rewarding to share this with my students.”

Since 1971, CHiPS (Park Slope Christian Help, Inc.) has been a community of Brooklyn neighbors, volunteers, and friends who share a common spiritual vision to help those who are less fortunate. Volunteers and staff prepare hot, nutritious meals and serve them to the needy in a caring and respectful environment. In addition to meals, CHiPS offer seasonal clothing, emergency pantry items, and shelter for young mothers and their children. All services are offered free of charge through the generosity of the Brooklyn community.

“When I walk into the soup kitchen and see all those beautiful students in white uniforms, it is the highlight of my year. Not only is the food amazing—and that gives a lot of joy—but the students tell me they got more out of cooking and serving here than anywhere else. And that just warms me. The Soup Kitchen at CHIPS is staffed with all volunteers and they are a wonderful group that provides 200-plus meals six days a week to whomever comes to our door. When City Tech is making our holiday party meal, you can only imagine the smiles (some toothless) at the sight of those white uniforms and beautiful plates of food. We feel so fortunate to be the recipient of City Tech’s generosity and for the student and faculty volunteers led by Professor Jean Claude,” said Denise Scaravella, executive director, CHiPS.