For the 14th year, students at Columbia-Greene and Rensselaer Educational Center honored local veterans for their service to our country with a free Veterans Day lunch.

Culinary Arts and Intro to Foods students prepared hundreds of meals and desserts for veterans and their guests at both centers – including over 300 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of potatoes, several trays of stuffing and salad, fruit platters, dozens of pies and pastries, and more.

“It was a big step up, usually in class we serve recipes that are made for about six to twelve people, and today we prepared for about 400,” said Culinary Arts student David Bauer, a senior at Cairo-Durham CSD.

“It’s fun. I like seeing them get a meal that’s made just for them because of what they’ve done for us,” said Mackenzy Ferra, a Culinary Arts student and senior at Averill Park CSD.

“It’s a great honor to recognize the vets, but more important it’s great for the students to appreciate their sacrifice,” said CGEC Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Peter Desmond.

The annual event began in 2003 and has been a hit with both communities ever since.

“It’s a great event. Just seeing the people and the veterans come in every year and the smiles we put on their faces. It’s a great event for our students to learn the art of service,” said REC Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Andrew Ottati

It warms my heart the fact that we can make these veterans so happy because they’ve done so much for our country,” said Culinary Arts student and East Greenbush CSD junior Jackson Ostwald.

CGEC Event Recap:

REC Event Recap:

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