Free pasta lunch fuels hundreds of COC students

William Bermudez, culinary arts student serves pasta to Lauren Alesso, COC sophomore, at the Institute of Culinary Education free pasta lunch Thursday. Michele Lutes/The Signal

The smell of pasta filled the air Thursday on College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus as students lined up in the Institute of Culinary Education building to fuel their minds for the 2019 spring semester.

“We’re trying to zero in on a problem that is happening globally,” said Cindy Schwanke, department chair of culinary arts and wine studies. “We wanted to do our part and try to end the hunger here on campus and help people with food insecurities.”

In the first 30 minutes, 240 meals were served by culinary students and faculty members who volunteered their time to cook and serve pasta to students.

A pasta bar offered students a choice of pasta, sauce and toppings, along with water to drink.

The tables inside and outside the ICUE building were filled with students from all different majors.

“It’s a part of community-based learning, and the ICUE is apart of that,” Schwanke said. “We are noticing a lot of our students don’t have a nice or a hot meal even once a week, and they come to school hungry.”

The ICUE held the pilot program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday on the Valencia Campus.

The program received the Chancellor’s Office Foundation Grant to help pay for the ingredients, Schwanke said. “We wanted them to fuel up for the spring.”

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