Andrew Jones isn’t an expert chef, but that doesn’t stop him from preparing a meal for families in need at Ronald McDonald House.
The fourth-year Red Deer College student was one of four people from RDC residence cooking dinner for families through Ronald McDonald House’s Home For Dinner program in Red Deer Thursday.
“It’s important we help out the community in as many ways as we can,” said Jones. “Every little bit can help, even if it’s something as simple as cooking dinner.”
Jones and his fellow RDC students prepared a pizza meal for the people staying at the centre, which provides a home away from home for families with children receiving vital medical treatment.
“The appreciation we get back from people is huge. It feels good seeing everyone’s faces and seeing them being happy about it,” he said.
Jones said he will participate in more Home For Dinner events during the school year.
The group of students living at RDC residence is just one of several Central Alberta groups and businesses that prepare meals through the Home For Dinner program.
Sue Morrison, Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta family service manager, said it means a lot to have the community’s support.
“The Home For Dinner program is very important to our families,” she said. “Sitting down with their family and having a meal can add some normalcy to their day. Their days are not normal with a baby or child in the hospital.”
Morrison said the goal of the program is to provide lunch and dinner every day for families – any food left over is used for future meals.
“We want to make sure the stay is as stress-free as possible for the families.
“I work with the families … and they are so thankful they don’t have to worry about making food. They don’t need to go out to buy groceries or cook. If they have to take food back to the hospital we have to-go containers,” she said.
Central Alberta’s Ronald McDonald House has 11 rooms, which can fit up to five people. All people staying at the House, as well as day-use families, can be fed through the program.
“We’re really, really fortunate that there are a lot of generous people in this town,” said Morrison.