Goodies for a good cause: Food and nutrition students host bake sale
by Paige Rentz
As the holiday season approaches, students in April Young’s food and nutrition class at Jacksonville High School are putting their classroom skills to work for a local charity.

The students hosted the December Delights Bake Sale last week, which raised about $300 for Second Chance, an Anniston non-profit providing safe shelter and services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“Just the project itself is amazing,” said Susan Shipman, executive director of Second Chance. “That they raised $300 for that project was incredible for a group of young people who are interested in the plight of others in the community.”

Young said the students were in charge of the project, part of a challenge-based curriculum being implemented across the district. The class studied sanitation and food safety in the beginning of the semester and has seen cooking since October, she said, and put their new knowledge to work in the fundraiser.

The students in Young’s class made the decisions on what to call their project, which non-profit organization to help, what to bake, how to price the items, and how to advertise, collect orders and deliver the holiday goodies.

The students baked for three days, scheduling the baking of their array of goodies by what will stay fresh longest. Along with Angie Davis’ special needs class, the students delivered more than 110 cookies, 70 cupcakes, 60 haystacks, 30 bags of Chex mix, and about 50 orders each of peppermint bark, brownies and Rice Krispies treats.

“I’m here to make sure they don’t make big mistakes or go in the wrong direction, but I’m not supposed to tell them every move to make,” she said.

Senior Emma Royster said it was no easy task to price the goods “because we had to add up the costs of each of the ingredients and see how much we should sell it for so we can make a profit … and donate it to the shelter.” She said students divided into groups to handle the pricing and tasks such as advertising and creating the menu.

Sarah Holcomb, a junior at JHS, said the project’s appeal is that it brought her and her classmates together to work as a group and help people at the same time. “It’s kind of like our own little business put together,” she said.

Junior Guido Moore II helped make Chex mix and brownies for the project, a task that he said is more complicated than most people think it is. “Most people think you just mix it in a bowl, but you’ve got to bake it and put butter on it and stir is constantly to make sure it’s cooked evenly” he said. But the days of cooking and organizing is worth it to Moore.

“I think it’s a good cause because we should always give to people that need help,” said Moore, who said his aunt works at the Second Chance shelter.

Shipman said the $300 the students donated can replace 16 birth certificates or 12 photo identifications for women who left them behind while fleeing a domestic violence situation, will buy groceries for the shelter for six days, or house a person in the shelter for 60 days.

“During the holiday season, most of these kids have plenty,” Young said of her class. “Very few know what it means to struggle or do without, and I think it’s important that they understand that’s a blessing and not take it for granted.”
© 2012