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University of Maryland students host free Thanksgiving meal

Posted at 2:06 PM, Nov 22, 2018

Second-year University of Maryland School of Medicine students organize a free Thanksgiving meal every year for the West Baltimore community. 

"Every year, I come here for Thanksgiving," James Roger said. "I thank the people and I thank God."

"It all just comes together and it's very surreal. It's very nice," student Alexander Thomopulos said. 

Thomopulos is the food chair for Project Feast, the volunteer student organization that puts on the feast year after year. Students cook all 50 turkeys. 

"It was the first time that I cooked a turkey myself. Me and my friend, we baked two," Thomopulos said. "I think the second one turned out tastier."

In addition to the food, volunteers gave out donated clothing and health screenings.

"It makes my Thanksgiving dinner even more enjoyable just by being here and seeing others enjoy the day like this," dean of the School of Medicine, Albert Reece, said. 

They've kept it going for 29 years, with the help of lots of volunteers from Booker T. Washington Middle School and local churches. They hope to serve 400 people total. 

"I couldn't be more proud of the students. I really am," Reece said.

They had most of Joy Foster's favorite fixings, turkey and stuffing, but she says it's more about the company.

"It's just me in my apartment so I don't see any sense in cooking," Foster said. "I like making new friends, talking to people."

She hopes people take away more than just food.

"Just like Thanksgiving, we all get along together. We are supposed to do that every day of our life and not worry about fighting," Foster said. 

The University of Maryland School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association, the University of Maryland School of Medicine Student Council, and Hungry Harvest sponsored this feast.