The ties that bind NBCC to the communities it serves are strong, particularly in times of crisis. The full strength of NBCC’s commitment to community was demonstrated this week as the St. Andrews region faced an out-of-control forest fire that forced families from their homes while firefighters worked around the clock to keep their property safe.
NBCC’s Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs were quick to respond, changing their plans for a sit-down meal service in the campus restaurant to instead provide a delicious lunch for the firefighters protecting the community.
“For us, it didn’t feel like the right time to invite the community in for a nice meal, when so many people were having a hard time,” said Darren Dorcas, Culinary Arts instructor. “It felt like our efforts would be better placed helping the people who were helping the community.”
With the day’s menu already planned for a catered meal service, students quickly adapted to turn the meal into a “to-go” option that could be delivered to the fire department.
“It was actually a good opportunity for the students to change the serving model on short notice, because stuff like this happens in the real world all the time,” Dorcas added. “As soon as we told them our idea, they were all in.”
On the first day of providing lunches, instructors made the special delivery to the fire hall. But on Day 2, they realized that the students should be involved in the delivery as well.
“We felt it was important to bring them with us to make the delivery, so they could see firsthand the impact of what they had done,” Dorcas said.
When those who had planned to attend the meal service learned what the College wanted to do instead, they were wholeheartedly in agreement, said Mary Lynne Borsella, Academic Chair for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“To a person, they all supported what we wanted to do,” she said. “It’s one of those things that is so embedded in the St. Andrews community.”