Pictured: Left to right, Professional Cookery students Leon Fraser, Lorraine Wormald, Moira Macleod, Zane Vantere, and Dayne Inglis.
Professional Cookery students at Inverness College UHI have responded to the significant rise in food poverty caused by the pandemic by cooking meals for families in need over the festive period.
Staff and students within the professional cookery department at the College are supporting Gateway’s Food for Families project for the fourth year in a row.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions, the volunteer base has been reduced this year.
However, the students remain part of a group who are helping to prepare more than 3000 cooked, frozen meals for families in need in the Highlands.
This year meals will be distributed via the Highland Council social work department and schools.
The students will be making 240 portions of macaroni cheese, winter stew and potatoes, and chicken curry and rice in December to support the charity.
The meals will be cooked at Inverness College UHI by students before being collected by Gateway and distributed to those in need.
Nicola MacDonald, Head of Business, Computing and Hospitality at Inverness College UHI, said:
“This pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many families and we know food poverty has increased across the country.
“We support this project every year, but we were more determined than ever to do what we could this year to support local families in need.
“It’s also a great learning experience for our students, and I know they’ve really enjoyed being able to help such a worthwhile cause.”
Alex Gilchrist, General Manager of Gateway, added:
“The Food for Families project has cooked and shared out almost 24,000 meals during the past 9 years.
“Once again, this year we are ready to step into action with a terrific network of volunteers who have responded to turn an idea of helping those who need a meal, into a highly successful project.”
“The assistance being received from the organisations and volunteers involved this year is much appreciated as we have had to review the way that our meals are being cooked for this year to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, which has put additional pressure on to the teams involved”.
Now in its 10th year the Food for Families project is sponsored by local businessman David Sutherland, local businesswoman Catriona Campbell (The Mustard Seed and The Kitchen), Williamson Food Service and Gateway.
It is supported by a number of volunteers including members of Culduthel Christian Centre, Old High St Stephens Church, Calman Trust, Inverness Prison and Inverness College UHI.