Meaningful meals serve as quality lesson for students

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Meals were shared, and lessons learned Friday as a high school class in St. Paul got into the holiday spirit.

As part of their culinary program, juniors at St. Paul’s Upper Mississippi Academy prepared a Thanksgiving Day meal for their senior neighbors who live at Central Towers. From the poultry to the potatoes, everything was prepared by students.

“I think these kids deserve recognition because of who they are as individuals and groups,” Kevin Coughlin, social studies teacher at Upper Mississippi Academy, said.

Hudson Hassel, a student overseeing the gravy prep, feels this lesson means more than a passing grade.

“Assuming they like it, it makes you feel really happy,” Hassel said with a smile, adding, “being able to feed them, have them enjoy our company, and just being with them [is nice] because [a lot] of people don’t have that.”

Not only was the food made from scratch, but it was also hand delivered by students to Central Towers because their campus is across the street.

Served buffet-style, seniors were able to pick what they’d like while a saxophonist played during lunch.

“It’s a brightening for your day, and it kind of gives you a purpose for getting up in the morning,” said Donishia Hughley, who lives at Central Towers.

Hughley was sitting at a table with a few others — they said the food was wonderful, but the company of their visitors was what made it so special.

“A lot of people here don’t have family, and to be served, I mean, it’s a blessing,” Beatice Walker, who also lives there, said.