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Students to Help Launch ‘Local Foods Week’ at Growers Market

Pennsylvania College of Technology students will prepare free samples of dishes made with fresh, local food products at the Williamsport Growers Market on Sept. 12.

Students enrolled in a Catering class offered by the college’s School of Hospitality will prepare food on-site from 8 a.m. until noon or as long as the food lasts as part of the regional Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter’s “Local Foods Week,” Sept. 12-18.

Growers Market vendors and Helmrich’s Seafood donate the ingredients for each dish the students will create.

The Catering course teaches students professional catering skills in administration, planning, selling, showmanship and leadership. In addition to learning theory, the students apply those lessons by catering live events, starting each fall with the Growers Market.

The experience is valuable in allowing students to work with the freshest ingredients and to interact with the farmers who produce those foods.

Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, said that, since Penn College students began cooking at the market many years ago, the event now referred to as Growers Market Customer Appreciation Day has grown to include several local restaurants that also offer their specialties to the public.

“This event has gone way beyond “˜Penn College Day,'” Ditchfield said. “It has always been my hope to get other local chefs and restaurants involved at the market, and it seems to be working out.”

Participating students and their hometowns are: Brittany E. Davis, Williamsport; Elaine F. Gardner, Spring City; Cassandra M. George, Lackawaxen; Lisa Greenberg, New City, N.Y.; Marlee M. Horchen, Johnsonburg; David C. Houseman, State College; George E. Logue, Williamsport; Cody J. Miller, Cogan Station; Alicia J. Neubert, Great Meadows, N.J.; Brian M. Toomey, Danville; Evan D. Turitz, Englewood, N.J.; and William B. West, Wyomissing.

The Williamsport Growers Market operates from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday from June through October in municipal parking lot G, bounded by Fifth, Hepburn and Pine streets and Little League Boulevard.

Other events planned for the students this fall include catering the Hunt Country Gourmet Harvest Festival at Hunt Country Vineyards in New York, working alongside catering staff of The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to serve fans in skyboxes at Beaver Stadium during a Penn State home football game, and catering an event at the YWCA of Northcentral Pennsylvania to benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality at Penn College, call visit online o r call 570-327-4505.

To learn more about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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