A program for Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) in which students use their classwork to benefit the needy couldn’t be more of a win-win situation for the public.
Pam Moore, a child care professions instructor, started the program last year by initiating the food drive and raising money from the students and staff at OCVTS to purchase ingredients to prepare meals for charity.
Moore contacted Ocean County Hunger Relief in Toms River, an organization that was thrilled to arrange for the meals to be donated through their channels last Thanksgiving. The organization services 38 food pantries in Ocean County, four of which are in Brick. Altogether, they assist about 1,500 people each month, about half of which are children.
The project was so successful that, this year, the students prepared meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and will extend the program to include Easter in 2003. This year, the students helped out on a commendable scale, preparing well over 200 gourmet meals for the needy. All in all, the program provides a unique opportunity for a dual learning experience. We agree with Moore, who said it was an opportunity for the students to become acquainted with charitable actions, a "lifelong commitment" that should go on well after they are living on their own with secure financial foundations. And in the process, they are paving the way for those bright futures by putting their trades to good practice, and a noble use.