Students serve up intergenerational lunch

Naugatuck High School senior Andrew Dempsey talks to senior citizens before an intergenerational lunch April 27 at the high school. Dempsey spearheaded the lunch as part of his senior project for his civics class. The seniors were treated to lunch made by culinary students and a cooking demonstration. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School students catered to local senior citizens last week with an intergenerational lunch.

Naugatuck High senior Andrew Dempsey spearheaded the lunch as part of his senior project for his civics class. About 10 senior citizens enjoyed lunch cooked by culinary students, a cooking demonstration and talking with students at the school’s restaurant. The restaurant, which was built as part of the renovation project, is run by culinary arts students and overseen by culinary arts teacher Diane Doherty.

“We always had this restaurant, but just a couple teachers a day would use it. I wanted to get more people in here so it has more use because this is what it was built for, to have people come in like this,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey added he wanted to bring the seniors to the restaurant to give them a chance to eat somewhere other than the senior center.

“They seem like they would enjoy this. I wanted to do something to help the seniors because they are always in the senior center. I wanted to have a new activity for them to come out and enjoy,” Dempsey said.

Naugatuck Senior Center Director Harvey Frydman called Dempsey an “outstanding student” and said he was happy the senior center could participate in the event.

“I knew the seniors would enjoy it. It would be something intergenerational for our older adults to come to the high school and see what the future members of the Naugatuck Senior Center are doing,” Frydman said.

For Dorothy Gouveia, a member of the senior center, the lunch provided her an opportunity to see what her great-grandson has been doing at school. He was one of the students preparing the lunch.

“My great-grandson is out here and he is taking culinary classes. He never touched a stove before and he is making things now. He is very proud of this place,” Gouveia said.

Fellow senior center member May Tardy was happy to be able to come down to the high school, eat lunch and talk with the students.

“I think it’s fantastic. We should integrate with the younger people,” Tardy said.