Every year just before Thanksgiving, students in the East Valley Institute of Technology’s culinary arts department bake hundreds of pies, dozens of dinner rolls and pounds of turkey.
And they make sure to give a large chunk of that to a Mesa men’s shelter.
Around this time, students practice making Thanksgiving holiday meals that faculty members and others at EVIT purchase at a discount. All items have to be picked up two days before Thanksgiving, but some who order breads and pies never show up when it’s time to bring them home. Those items as well as extras are sent to the East Valley Men’s Shelter in Mesa.
"We always bake more than we need," said Tricia Gray, director of the culinary department. "We get calls from food banks or the Salvation Army" around this time.
Last year, the department donated more than 100 pies, about 80 dozen dinner rolls and 100 loaves of bread to the men’s shelter. They hope to give about the same amount this year.
Students bake about 10 percent more than what’s actually needed, so there’s usually plenty to donate to the shelter, said Carlton Brooks, baking instructor at the school. "From October to April, (shelters) are always in need of anything we’ve got," Brooks said.