Food Science Club, McNair Scholars assist in holiday hunger relief
Katie Ciasullo, president of the Food Science Club, with a freshly baked sweet potato pie. A total of 70 pies, using sweet potatoes grown in UD's Garden for the Community, were donated for use by the Food Bank of Delaware.
Food Science Club members, from left, Melissa Ehrich, Amanda Hoffman, Katie Ciasullo and Haley Caufield prepare the sweet potato pies.
From left, Melissa Erich, Kali Kniel, associate professor of animal and food sciences, and Haley Caufield.

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10:39 a.m., Nov. 24, 2010----With the holiday season just around the corner, the University of Delaware's Food Science Club and the McNair Scholars Program are giving back to the Food Bank of Delaware (FBD).

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During the week of Nov. 15, students from both organizations prepared, baked and distributed sweet potato pies.

“With more and more Delawareans depending on support for emergency food services, community collaborations are critical to ensure that those in need have much-needed resources,” said Kim Kostes, community relations manager for FBD. “Our continued partnership with the University of Delaware McNair Scholars and Food Science Club demonstrates that when we work together the results are big. We are so appreciative of the students' efforts and know that the homemade pies will certainly bring smiles to the faces of the families we serve.”

The student volunteers made 70 freshly baked pies using sweet potatoes grown in the University's Garden for the Community.

Participants boiled, washed and peeled the potatoes, mixed all of the ingredients using the FBD's professional-grade mixer, and lined pie plates with crust. From there, the volunteers baked and packaged all of the pies.

“We originally estimated that we'd make 50 pies, so exceeding our goal by 20 was great,” said Katie Ciasullo, a food science and technology major, Honors Program student and president of the Food Science Club. “The Food Bank staff was incredibly helpful, and we could not have done it without them. Knowing that these pies went to families in need made everything worth it.”

This volunteer effort was part of the FBD's third annual Thanksgiving Nutrition Class and Basket Distribution.

During this event, the FBD is able to provide those in need with valuable education on good nutrition, information on stretching limited budgets and healthy recipes. Those who attended the class were provided with a basket full of Thanksgiving trimmings, a frozen turkey, and a freshly-baked pie.

UD's 15,000-square-foot Garden for the Community is a cooperative partnership between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), the CANR Ag College Council, Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the FBD.

The produce grown in the garden is donated directly to the FBD. To learn more, visit the Garden for the Community website.

Photos by Danielle Quigley


University of Delaware • Newark, DE 19716
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