Vista Academy Students Serve Thanksgiving Dinners to Denver Families

TRANSCRIPT: NARRATOR Good cooking (Chef mixes a salad) NARRATOR rarely happens by accident. ISAAC “They’ve taught us to be fast,” they’ve taught us to put everything together and then just follow the ingredients… directions and put everything together how it needs…

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TRANSCRIPT:
NARRATOR
Good cooking

(Chef mixes a salad)

NARRATOR
rarely happens by accident.

ISAAC
“They’ve taught us to be fast,”

they’ve taught us to put everything together and then just follow the ingredients… directions and put everything together how it needs to be done.”

NARRATOR
That’s no exception in this Vista Academy kitchen, where junior Isaac Burgos, and his classmates…
(Isaac stirs salad)
are cooking up fry bread tacos – with the utmost intention.

ISAAC
“I also like to cook next to my friends,

That’s cool. Sometimes we just decide, ‘What do we want to cook today? I want to cook this today. Let’s make it! We have the ingredients for it, let’s make it!'”

(Sizzling meat, chefs working in kitchen)

NARRATOR
Browning the turkey, mixing the salad… and kneading out the dough for the fry bread… there’s a lot to keep track of for this hearty meal.

ISSAC
“We’re not pros. We haven’t been doing this for 20 years, but you know we get actual pros… to teach us how to cook!”

NARRATOR
How to cook, and how to *serve. As some chefs work for the camera, an assembly line of students packs up *40* bags of scratch ingredients, with step-by-step instructions…

Edgar Flores
“It feels nice, you know?

You feel a little good about yourself afterwards, yeah!”

NARRATOR
Which will help feed 40 Far Northeast Denver families.

CHEF HOPKINS
“It’s amazing.”

CHEF CAMPBELL
“I could start sobbing right now.”
CHEF HOPKINS
“I know!”

NARRATOR
It’s called the Community Equity Educational Dinner – a program funded through the City and County of Denver’s “Healthy Food for Denver Kids” grant.
Teaching students, and feeding their community.

CHEF CAMPBELL
“Be it not for the grant, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this.”

NARRATOR
Chef Jennifer Hopkins, and assistant Chef Tasha Campbell, run this kitchen… and the culinary program at Vista. It’s made up of three different classes… including this ProStart Class, in which students can earn college credit over the course of two years. Community service, is at the program’s heart.

CHEF HOPKINS
“Due to the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of parents who have lost jobs… and so it’s been a tough time for a lot of families.”

NARRATOR
For Lisa Smith, a parent to an eighth grader at Vista…

LISA SMITH
“It takes a lot of stress off of meal planning, and just… trying to figure out what you’re going to have for that night. It’s also takes the stress off of purchasing food. So, it gives you that extra little bit to do something else with your children.”

NARRATOR
More time to be together, and reflect on what really matters.

LISA SMITH
“My health, my family’s health. Having a place to live.”

NAZELI DELGADO VAZQUEZ
“That we’re still alive.”

EDGAR
“My family, you know. They’ve always been there supporting me.”

ISAAC
“Definitely grateful for this school. This school has helped me open up doors.

LISA
“For being continually blessed with the blessings that we have.”

ISAAC
“Definitely grateful for my friends as well, who’ve been with me here since sixth grade. And definitely grateful for my family, of course.”

EDGAR
“Seasonings… you know, for the turkey.”

NARRATOR
So many things in life, you can’t measure. But you can, feel them – in every one of these 40 meals.

CHEF CAMPBELL
“We are very grateful for the grant… and the food that we’re making in here.”

CLASSROOM
“Happy thanksgiving from Vista Academy!”

NARRATOR
For Denver Public Schools, I’m Ben McKee.

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