Teens given second chance in court system serve hundreds of free meals in Eugene

Teen gives free meals to community. (SBG Photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - Students that have been given a second chance in the court system are part of a vocational course at the Lane County Youth Serbu Center.

They say the course is like a job, giving them real world experience as they learn their way around a working kitchen.

"The skills they are learning in the kitchen is something they can apply anywhere, in any type of job," Lane County Youth Services program manager Jose Alvarez said.

Alvarez said students learn how to cook in the kitchen and cater food.

"It's a good hands on experience," Alvarez said. "They are not just in the classroom; they're actually in there physically working with my cooks."

Students agree.

"I learn something new every single day," Elizabeth Hopkins said. "It just blows my mind."

Hopkins has been in the program for three months and she's excited to show the community what she has learned with these free meals, as well as being grateful to help those in need.

"It makes me feel good," Hopkins said. "It makes me feel like I'm helping a lot in the community and that I can make a difference."

The 12th Annual Free Community Holiday Meal fed hundreds.

It also gave families a time to unwind.

"Even doing this is something that they wish for," Hopkins said, "and their wish is coming true for their family, or even themselves."

The event provided a valuable community service lesson for teens.

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