Harrisburg Staff Donate Time to Cook at Hershey Ronald McDonald House
Web Editor - Published: February 1, 2013


When members of the Harrisburg campus staff were looking for a fun social activity to engage in together outside of work hours, the possibility of instead doing a community service project together came up. After investigating the possibilities, the group decided that they would volunteer to cook meals for patients staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

On January 26th, the group, equipped with t-shirts created especially for the occasion, split into two teams to cook breakfast and dinner for the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital patients and their families staying at Ronald McDonald House. Since all meals had to be prepared on site, the staff members took donations from faculty and staff to purchase the raw ingredients.

Breakfast consisted of traditional menu items such as eggs, bacon, and oatmeal, and included the preparation of 9 dozen scrambled eggs and 6 packs of bacon! Dinner featured a barbeque in winter theme and included hamburgers and hot dogs aswell as 20 pounds of potatoes for homemade potato salad and 2 gallons of homemade chicken noodle soup.

Participants included Molly Acri, Dorothy Koncar, Kelly Arnold, Mary Lou Morin, Karen Durkin, Sharon Murphy, Pat Fox, Keena Neagle, Paula Heider, Jessica Schuller, Melissa and Josh Hoch, Jenn Troxell, Kara Wealand, Kevin Jones, Joan Zurcher, and Eric Kniskern.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how humbling it is to know that . . . there are so many good people out in this world that want to help people like that because when you’re dealing with children that are sick,” said Melissa Hoch, “the last thing you want to worry about is food and a place to stay, and for people to come together and work together like that is just incredible.”

The group intends do another project later in the spring. Kara Wealand, Melissa Hoch, and Paula Heider discuss the experience of volunteering at the Hershey Ronald McDonald House in the accompanying video.