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Cooking up some charity

"Things might not always apply," Niccoli said. "If you're working out of a church kitchen that only has a four-burner stove, you might not have the same thing if you go to the City Mission in Troy It's showing them how to utilize what they have to the best of their abilities."

Mark Quandt, executive director of the Regional Food Bank, said he is pleased with Century House's efforts in trying to be involved in a more personal way in feeding people in the community with programs such as Enjoy One Share One.

Now, the Century House is looking for different ways to help out, Quandt said, with trying to get pieces of equipment such as the emersion blender, which he said would help and improve the meals the food banks provide.

"What Century House is trying to find is other ways to where they can be of assistance," he said. "And one of the other ways is to provide some education on how to use different products, how to make different meals so the meals prepared are better, more variety and more nutritious and easier for the agencies to prepare. The whole program is pretty amazing."

Quandt said that having a member of the Century House's staff come down and teach these different techniques of cooking is just a different way for them to provide a service. He is grateful that the organization isn't just giving suggestions but is also putting a face behind them.

Deborah Stiles, the emergency service coordinator for the Salvation Army in Albany, said this sort of tutorial will help in the canteen program she helps facilitates. She goes out to the street five nights a week to help serve food to the homeless. In the winter time, they usually provide soups to help keep people warm. The tomato bisque soup she had at the Century House that day is something she thinks the people she serves would enjoy.

"It's a great help of information," she said, adding that having the training done onsite will be very helpful. "I run two food pantries, so I could probably open it up to the food pantry people. They could learn to cook well and in a healthier way. Instead of just opening a can, we can use more natural fruit and vegetables.""

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