On Monday, March 8 – International Women's Day 2021 — the San Diego College of Continuing Education’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program helped to distribute $1,500 worth of kitchen equipment to over a dozen deserving female students. Most appropriately, the donated total came from the San Diego chapter of the all-women Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) charity organization.
“I really appreciate the work LDEI does for the community to support women in the industry, and it really meant a lot to me to give back to 14 incredible students on International Women's Day,” said Megan Leppert, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program Chair at the college.
Due to the pandemic, many culinary students are without access to the necessary gear to work on their projects from home. The organization originally offered 10 success grants to divide the $1,500. However, since 14 students were interested, the amount was shared equally among them all. In the end, everyone got everything they required — from oven pots, digital scales and boning knives to immersion blenders and pasta machines — with just $1.82 in the budget to spare.
Leppert, who has also been on LDEI San Diego’s board of directors for two years, further explained that students who may have been mashing by hand can now blend ingredients more efficiently to properly prepare their dishes. She is inspired by the women’s resilience for continuing their education while holding full-time jobs, amid the pandemic no less, and each woman is very thankful for the generosity.
Les Dames d’Escoffier San Diego is next looking to partner with the San Diego College of Continuing Education with additional formal scholarships and even a book drive to build up a library of coveted culinary volumes.