Nailah Pawsen, 7 and Executive director of the Parkdale Community Kitchen, Karen Secord, 60. Photo credit: Phaedra Hamer

An AC Hub event in Hintonburg called the Fill the freezer project saw Algonquin students participate in preparing fresh, warm food for the community on Friday morning.

Ten students volunteered with the Parkdale Community Kitchen from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. to prepare baked goods and soups for those in need.

The project brings businesses, families and people together to share food with their community and learn about how food brings people closer through conversation, giving and company.

Executive director of the Parkdale Food Centre, Karen Secord, 60, recognizes the role volunteers play in their community and sees it as a learning opportunity for young students.

“With students, the conversations can go further and actually make an impact,” she said. “When we serve our food, we tell people that a student made it just for them and it makes the whole experience so much more special.”

Secord hopes that students gain an experience of sharing and feel part of the community.

Rebecca Sun, 37, co-curricular and volunteerism coordinator at Algonquin, is in charge of organizing volunteer opportunities for students.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to come together and create a positive impact, make new friends, network and learn,” Sun said. “It’s also nice for those who aren’t from Ottawa to see different organizations and what they do.”

Secord said the kitchen radiates a “family atmosphere” and everyone who goes there feels warm, welcomed and are provided access to good food.

“There’s nothing better than sharing food that you’ve made yourself. It’s so personal,” Secord said.

The AC Hub opens registration for the volunteer opportunity once a semester to students looking to serve their community. However, the Parkdale Community Kitchen offers Volunteer Orientation once a month for newcomers and offers a variety of programs.