Lansing School District delivers free turkey dinners to local families

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 9:34 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Lansing parent Faye Evans opened her front door with a smile, taking in the sight of a Thanksgiving meal for her family, at no cost of her own.

“This is my second year of my kids going to Lansing school district,” she said after asking her children to take the goods inside. “So, it’s exciting that they’re actually doing this and care.”

The Evans household is one of 500 that received a free turkey dinner from the Lansing School District on Saturday, only days before the Thanksgiving holiday. Now that her dinner is covered, Evans said she’s just looking forward to spending time with her family.

A longstanding partnership between Lansing schools and its meal supplier SodexoMAGIC, the Pathway to the Holiday program returned for another year of offering holiday help to people in Lansing.

“I can take zero credit for this,” said Superintendent Ben Shuldiner. “This has been going on since long before I got here, but it’s just one of those wonderful things that the Lansing School District does to help support our community.”

Shuldiner said this year’s event came with some changes to make it more convenient for families to participate in the turkey drive; including the addition of Dean Transportation to the Pathway to the Holiday team, which donated the services of 15 bus drivers.

Community volunteers loaded sacks of potatoes, boxes of stuffing and whole turkeys onto the yellow buses, preparing them for meal delivery.

“It’s a beautiful group of people working together helping every family in Lansing that we can,” said Lansing School Board Secretary Dr. Nino Rodriguez.

Between two hours of carry food from Lansing Technical High School into the buses parked out front, and a few more of deliver, it’s a lot of heavy lifting for local volunteers. But J.W. Sexton freshman Vincent Lazarre said it’s worth it.

“We know at the end of the day everyone will have a smile on their face and be able to have food on Thanksgiving,” Lazarre said.

A single afternoon spent crossing one costly item off the holiday checklist so district families can give thanks worry free.

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