As rescue crews worked to evacuate residents in flooded areas of Green Bay last month, Preble High School students responded to a distress call of their own.
“All of a sudden, it dawned on me, we’re going to need food,” said Laurie Spence, Culinary Arts Instructor at Preble High School, where evacuees were being transported to for shelter.
Spence says she reached out to her students that morning.
“She goes, ‘Well there’s evacuees at Preble,'” junior Alex VanDenlangenberg remembers, “and I’m like, ‘Oh, do you need help?’ So I fly over as fast as I can.”
Spence says she was just getting started when five of her students arrived to help feed the evacuees and Red Cross volunteers.
“I had turned some ovens on and got some stuff started,” she said, “and they walked in the door, started taking inventory of what we had, and half an hour later we started producing.”
Over the course of eight hours, Spence and her students made enough food to feed the evacuees for five days, including late night snacks.
Spence says she was not surprised that her students stepped up on a day the Green Bay School District canceled class.
“We do stuff like this all the time,” she told Local 5. “We try to help the Red Cross when they have huge disasters.”
Although her kitchen staff is entirely made up of high school students, Spence says that finding volunteers in times of need is not a problem.
“People will ask me in the community, ‘How are you going to get kids involved?'” she said. “I don’t have a problem getting kids involved. Kids like to be helpful. Kids like to be a part of things that are good.”
To learn more about the Preble High School Culinary Arts Program, click here.