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School of Medicine Students Served Up a Happy Thanksgiving to 400 of Their Hungry Neighbors in West Baltimore

Friday, November 27, 2009

 Beth Lidinski and Katie Duncan from the Class of 2012 organized this year's Project Feast.

Students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine held their 20th annual "Project Feast" on Thursday, November 26, 2009. This year's Thanksgiving Day event provided a hot holiday meal to 400 homeless and disadvantaged persons in the West Baltimore neighborhood near campus.

Project Feast is a Thanksgiving tradition sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University Student Government Association; the Medical Alumni Association; and the School of Medicine Student Council. Students, faculty, staff, and friends of all six University of Maryland, Baltimore schools gathered at Booker T. Washington Middle School to assist with the event. In recent years, there has been a line of people stretching for two blocks waiting to get in when the doors open. In addition to serving the Thanksgiving meal, students also collect clothing, toiletries, and non-perishable goods to be distributed after dinner.

"It's exciting to see how many students get involved either beforehand by collecting donations, or on the day of Thanksgiving to help serve the meal," says Project Feast co-organizer Beth Lidinsky, a second-year med student. "Plus many students and staff bring along family members, so it is a large group of people giving back to our local community this year."

Co-organizer Katie Duncan, Beth's classmate in the Class of 2012, adds, "Project Feast is such an exciting opportunity, because it allows students from all of the different University of Maryland graduate schools to work together to make sure that no one in our community is left without a place to go on Thanksgiving."

More than 100 students participated in organizing the event, serving the meals, and giving out clothing and food to take home to the 400 attendees. Video from the event can be seen here.

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 The line to get into the dinner stretched around the building.

 After dinner, clothes, non-perishable food and even comfort items like pillows and blankets were given out by students.

 Nearby residents of all ages came to enjoy the meal.

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