Kids get early Thanksgiving dinner

November 25, 2008 5:27:05 PM PST
For more than 20 years the 400 students at Stokes Elementary School in Trenton have been treated to a Thanksgiving feast cooked by special education teacher Jacqueline Fentress."You would think that it's difficult, but it's not difficult because of the love they show us and the love they give us," Fentress said. "I can't help but do it."

Because of tough economic times, funding for the feast almost disppeared, and it looked like it might be cancelled until some local businessmen stepped into cover the cost of the big dinner.

"A lot of times we give the money, we don't know where it goes," said business consultatn James Dalton. "We give the money here, we see the kids are benefiting immediately. They're eating and they have full stomachs."

"This is God's will. We show love to the kids in the community. This is our future, so anything we can do for them we're always in for," said Bill Hackett from Razor Sharp Barber Shop.

Keeping the Thanksgiving feast going was so important to the school because, for some of the kids here, this may be the only big holiday meal they get.

"We have a lot of inner city students that come here that live up in the projects that, you know, don't get this," said PTO president Deborah Parker-King.

The kids chowed down on placemats they made themselves.

"I think that's very nice, because some people would have been sad that we didn't have the lunch," said student Jenell Boykins.

But thanks to the work of so many who helped, the tradition lives on and Stokes students went back to class with full stomachs and full hearts.

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