“The students are a credit to their school and their families”. Those were the words of Catriona Twomey after pupils from Coláiste Éamann Rís cooked Christmas dinner for Cork Penny Dinners this week.
Transition Year students from the Cork city secondary school spent hours cooking a Christmas feast for the charity on Monday following an initiative at the school.
The students also handed over a cheque for €430 to Cork Penny Dinners — raised during a recent Christmas jumper day in the school. Ó Crualaoí Butchers in Wilton very generously donated the turkeys and hams for the Christmas dinner.
Kristian Vukorepa, who is a TY student in Coláiste Éamann Rís, explained how the initiative came about.
“My team and I were assigned an action project through The Edmund Rice Student Leadership Project that involved helping disadvantaged members in my local community. I immediately thought of Cork Penny Dinners and how their work helps those who are unable to provide food for themselves. I thought we could prepare Christmas dinner as a class, and also teach fellow students about solidarity, social action as well as compassion,” he said.
“We all worked together to cook the turkey and ham dinners and make Christmas a happier holiday for those in need. I think it was a perfect way of letting these people know there are others who care about them and want to help.”
Ms Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners said the food was ‘top quality’.
“Our chef was full of praise for the food and the way it was presented. The food was top quality. It was a lovely gesture. The financial donation will be put to good use as well. The students are a credit to their school and their families. The teachers are also a credit to the school.”
Anne Leahy, who is a teacher in Coláiste Éamann Rís, said the pupils wanted to give back to the local Cork community.
“Penny Dinners are doing great work in Cork. It was nice to help out. The pupils wanted to give back to the community and to those who are less fortunate. We decided to cook the dinners and bring them down. It is nice to give something back to such a good cause. We had money left over from the fundraiser which we also donated to Penny Dinners. Catriona and the staff were delighted and so appreciative.”
Ms Leahy added: “The students are so lovely and fantastic. It was a great idea....They worked so well as a team and they deserve great credit. The food was lovely. Three home economics teachers also provided great help. It took a lot of coordination but it worked out so well. It was a great initiative. They are great ambassadors for the school.”