Catering service offers work experience to special needs youth

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Photo: provided by Nectaria Skokos

Cook Jenny Ragnarsson and coordinator Marzieh Ghiyasinasab work with special needs youth at SNACS catering service.

For over 15 years, Jeffery Hale Community Partners has partnered with Quebec High School to offer the SNACS Program to English-speaking children, teens and young adults with special needs. The program provides safe and inclusive assisted activities that encourage socialization and stimulation, while meeting some of the goals of each participant’s unique intervention plan and providing respite and support to parents.

As the years progressed, it became apparent that – beyond social activities – there was also a great need for on-the-job training and support in finding adapted workplaces. Consultations with various community groups led to the creation of a specialized work platform for students and young adults alike called SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service.

Since the inception of this social enterprise three years ago, SNACS Catering has been helping special needs youth develop their life skills and social and vocational abilities, while also providing the community with quality catering services.

The work platform, located at Quebec High School (QHS), consists of a fully functional and accessible kitchen. This adapted workplace is open to special needs students aged 15 to 21, as well as to young adults over 21. The platform may also eventually provide those in the older age group with long-term, steady employment.

The tasks completed by the enthusiastic and professional team at SNACS Catering include assembling lunch boxes for corporate luncheons, catering for community events, and preparing frozen meals for the community at large.

SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service is pleased to introduce QCT readers to its new coordinator, Marzieh Ghiyasinasab. Originally from Iran, Marzieh speaks three languages and has a great deal of experience in project planning and product development. Besides her job at SNACS Catering, she is also completing her PhD in Industrial Engineering at Université Laval.

We also recently welcomed cook Jenny Ragnarsson to the SNACS Catering team. Originally from England, Jenny has many years of experience in the catering business there, as well as in Italy and Germany.

For more information about SNACS Catering, please call Marzieh Ghiyasinasab at 418-570-8355 or visit