Sunday, July 12

Brookdale Newsroom

Culinary Students and Local Business Owner Provide Thanksgiving Meals

Students in Brookdale Community College’s culinary arts program and At The Table, a soul food restaurant in Asbury Park, NJ, partnered to make Thanksgiving brighter a day earlier for some local residents.

Janice Brooks, owner of At The Table, and some of her customers purchased and donated 39 turkeys. Brooks is a graduate of Brookdale’s culinary arts and education program. Brookdale students cooked and prepared the turkeys, stuffing and vegetables the day before Thanksgiving. Brooks and other volunteers picked up the meals and, with assistance from students at Neptune and Asbury Park High Schools, distributed them to senior citizens in the community. At The Table also hosted an early dinner Wednesday afternoon at the restaurant and prepared additional side dishes.

“It’s a great partnership and a way for our students to gain experience while helping those in need,” said Michelle Zuppe, director of the culinary arts and hospitality program at Brookdale. “We are grateful for the generosity of Janice and others who made this possible.”

Brooks has owned and operated At The Table for nine years. She said it’s a joy to be able to lend a hand and make someone’s holiday better.

“We are committed to this community and wanted to do our part to provide a special meal for those who lack the means or don’t have family or friends to be with for the holidays,” said Brooks. “If we each do our share, no matter how small it may seem, it adds up and makes a difference.”

The culinary arts program is a collaboration between Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Vocational School.