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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Tradition Continues: Lancaster ISD Police Department Provides Thanksgiving Meals for More Than 100 Local Families
Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster ISD
With the holiday season just around the corner, many families are busy preparing their dinner shopping lists. At least 125 Lancaster families can rest easy knowing that their shopping has already been done courtesy of the Lancaster ISD Police Department.
Every year, beginning in September, the Lancaster ISD Police Department collects money and donated goods to provide Thanksgiving meals to Lancaster ISD families. Through canned food drives at the elementary campuses and donations from local businesses like Wal-Mart and Minyards, the police department pulls together enough meals for more than 100 families.
This week, Lancaster ISD superintendent Michael D. McFarland, City of Lancaster Police Chief Cheryl Wilson and the Honorable Valencia Nash of the Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Pct.1-2 Courthouse in Lancaster, TX all joined the district officers in delivering the holiday meals to the selected families.
“We have many families in Lancaster who are in need,” Lancaster ISD Officer Michael Lee said. “They deserve to have a happy holiday as well.”
Each family received a large frozen turkey and a box of food containing stuffing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables and other items to round out their holiday meal.
“As we planned for this project, we didn’t want people to just give stuff out of their pantry,” Officer Lee said. “We wanted people to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal will all of the trimmings.”
Officer Lee, who spearheads this project, said that the holiday meal delivery is something that is close to his heart.
“I was poor growing up and people and churches donated to my family,” he said. “So, I just want to give back as well.”
For the sixth straight year, Lancaster ISD officers have collaborated with the campus counselors to select families. This year, one of the selected families is homeless and living out of a motel.
“We delivered them a box of food and we have also made arrangements to have it cooked,” Officer Lee said. “Although this family lives in a hotel, they send their children to school despite the circumstances and we just are proud to be able to help them out with a Thanksgiving meal this year.”
Lee acknowledges that while the holidays bring joy to some families, for others, it is a stressful time.
“We understand that this time of the year can be hard on many,” he said. “So, this week, we are just trying to put smiles on people’s faces and make them happy for a while.”
The Lancaster Public Schools serve more than 6,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 11 schools. The mission of the Lancaster Independent School District, a leader in providing innovative, quality programs, is to educate every student with the knowledge; skills; and principles to succeed and contribute in a competitive and technologically advancing world by providing rigorous and engaging learning opportunities that promote diversity; create an environment of integrity and respect; and establish a commitment to continued improvement in partnership with families and community.