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Iowa Central Culinary Arts Students Give Back to Community During Thanksgiving

    by Iowa Central Information
    Posted on 12/12/2019

Fort Dodge, IA - Students in Iowa Central Community College’s Culinary Arts Program prepared and served nearly 2,000 meals for the annual Community Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Fort Dodge Ford Toyota. For ten years, Iowa Central has partnered with this local business to provide meals for the community and those in need during the holiday. It took several days for the coeds to prep for the event, by slicing, dicing and cooking hundreds of pounds of food.

All of the meals were made from scratch using more than 80 turkeys, 600 lbs of vegetables, 140 lbs of fresh cranberry sauce, 1,700 bread rolls, 1,200 pieces of pie, and many more ingredients for hearty Thanksgiving dishes. Over the past decade, Iowa Central has served an astronomical amount of food. It’s estimated that over 5.5 tons of turkey alone has been served since the gathering first began.

Staging food for this annual dinner was overseen by Culinary Arts Program Director, Chef Michael Hirst. Along with providing a great service to residents in the Fort Dodge area, this large event presents a great opportunity for students to learn and gain valuable experience. Undergraduates had to negotiate the challenges of prepping, cooking, transporting, and serving the festive cuisine.

“Triton Nation is very proud of the selfless hours and effort that our culinary arts scholars have provided,” said Dr. Dan Kinney, President of Iowa Central Community College. “We are thankful for the strong partnerships that have been formed with local organizations, and also for the unwavering volunteerism displayed by our students and members of the Fort Dodge community.”

Iowa Central’s Culinary Arts Program offers an Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS) degree. Students acquire skills and knowledge in food preparation, culinary arts, nutrition, food safety and sanitation, baking, the art of cuisine, and foodservice management. An introduction to hospitality and restaurant management is also a part of the program. Real-world experiences – such as the Community Thanksgiving dinner – help undergraduates succeed in the food industry.

For more information about Iowa Central and its Culinary Arts Program, please visit

Iowa Central Culinary Arts Students Give Back to Community During Thanksgiving Iowa Central Culinary Arts Students Give Back to Community During Thanksgiving

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