TEENAGE boys aren't usually associated with superb culinary skills but St Edmund's College Canberra students have turned that upside down.
The students have been providing 250 delicious meals per week to community support organisation, HOME in Queanbeyan and have been recognised for their efforts.HOME in Queanbeyan provides long-term accommodation for those suffering with chronic mental health issues.
The school was chosen from 750 applicants to receive a $30,000 grant as part of the NAB Schools First program.
Head of NAB Schools First Rebecca Sherwill said the outstanding community partnership between the two groups was exceptionally inspiring.
Manager of HOME Anne Pratt said the school was a worthy recipient. She said they have had a great relationship with the school since 2006 and check in with them on a weekly basis.
"Without a doubt [we appreciate all the work they do]. St Edmund's have supported us through hospitality since 2006. They continue to support us with food and service," she said.
"Dean Parkes is the acting head of hospitality. He just has so much energy and worked so hard to get the money.
"The school is thrilled. They deserve it."
St Edmund's College community development officer Jessica Draper-Jones said it is great to see the boys' efforts recognised.
She said it is a school community effort to fundraise and churn out more than 200 meals for the organisation.
"One sixth of the school community regularly raise money [for HOME]. Then there's a group of boys who run a coffee shop in the morning selling cappuccinos and hot chocolate to staff," she said. "All the profit goes to HOME.
"Every practical class such as food science and hospitality - the activities in those classes are designed to go to HOME."
The money has come just in time as students begin to organise a Christmas banquet for the 19 residents at HOME."The students will speak with the guests at HOME and work out their likes and dislikes and from that they will work out a menu for them," Ms Draper-Jones said.
"They interact with the clients in that nature."
Ms Draper-Jones said the initiative allowed the boys to raise awareness of mental illness and display their charity work in the local community.