The Fort Bragg Presbyterian Church’s free annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is truly a community effort. In response to organizers’ call for help with the cost of pies to be included in the Thanksgiving dinner boxes, the Fort Bragg High School (FBHS) Culinary Arts Program and FBHS staff stepped up to donate 25 student-made pumpkin pies.
FBHS Culinary Arts Program classes prepare students for employment in the food service and hospitality industry. Sixty-eight beginning Culinary Arts students prepared the pies under the guidance of teacher Amy Valla. Then, FBHS staff donated the cost of making the pies—money that will go back into the program. The 25 pies were frozen and donated to the church, to be served as part of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Some of the students will rejoin the effort on Thanksgiving Day, to slice and package the pies.
Last year, a record-setting 1,000 free meals were prepared, packed and served (via home delivery or curbside pickup) through the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and the projection for this year is the same. Pre-pandemic, desserts were largely made by home bakers. Since 2020, desserts have been supplied by local businesses—Safeway, Harvest Market, and A Sweet Affair Patisserie—through “Dessert Dollars” donated by the community. The Culinary Arts Program, through what amounted to its own internal Dessert Dollars program, has made a significant contribution to the dessert drive effort, yielding as much as one-fifth of the desserts needed to feed North Coast residents, from Westport to Albion. who request a Thanksgiving meal.
Those who wish to request a meal, volunteer, or donate can visit the church website, at www.fbpchurch.org, and click on the “2022 Community Thanksgiving Dinner” tab.
“We are so fortunate to have a program like this in our community—one that not only prepares our young community members for a bright future, but also generously contributes to a brighter today for our friends and neighbors,” said Printha Worthen, chair of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner committee. “What a marvelous partnership…one that truly reflects the spirit of Thanksgiving.”
“I have always wanted to participate in this event,” said Valla. “I am so proud of my students!”
Congratulations to Amy Valla for her leadership at FBHS Culinary Arts Program & to the Students!!!
Congratulations Amy Valla & to all your students 🎶🎉😎🥰