Oakville High School has a new way to give back to the community


Members of soup kitchen club pose for group photo.

OHS’s new soup kitchen club, created by FACS teacher Marybeth Dunn, is educating students in the sphere of catering while also providing much needed volunteer help to local organizations.

¨Knowing how hard it is for restaurants to find help, I figured places whose help is free are probably having an even harder time finding help,¨ Dunn said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on nearly all small businesses, but those who rely on volunteer work have suffered even greater consequences. Health guidelines have provoked many of these organizations to restrict their volunteers to very few or even none, so help that can be given while also being socially distanced is much needed.

¨I figured: let’s lend a hand, we have plenty of them here,¨ Dunn said.

Despite having no announcement regarding the kick off of the soup kitchen club, Dunn recalled approximately 30 students attended the first meeting, a spectacular turnout from which the club baked over 900 cookies for local veterans. 

¨They don’t have to be in a cooking class to be a part of it, so anybody at Oakville—if they want to come and join—can reach out to me,¨ Dunn said.

The soup kitchen club has thus far accomplished what they wished to achieve because of the amount of help they’ve had from dedicated students, even bigger goals are in their near future.

¨To be honest, my goals are to get more into the catering aspect too, where [students] can learn more of the full realm of event planning too and just hospitality in general,¨ Dunn said.

The club’s next project is supplying St. Patrick’s Homeless Shelter with meals for about 30 women for which the students have planned the menu. Not only does this offer club attendees a chance to learn about the process of planning and executing a catering event, but it also has a philanthropic aspect that is equally important.

¨I think it gives you an opportunity to look outside of yourself and realize as much junk is going on…there are more important things,¨ Dunn said.

Acting with selflessness and donating time, money or supplies is the basis of many clubs at OHS. However, the soup kitchen club also strives to help the students involved as well, not just those they are cooking for.

¨It is also an escape for people who are having a lot of at home [problems] that maybe want to find somewhere positive to channel their energy,¨ Dunn said.

Dunn feels that all students have the ability to benefit from and become an asset to the soup kitchen club.

¨There’s always something that you can give,¨ Dunn said, ¨even when you need.¨