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School of Medicine Students, Faculty, and Staff Serve Annual Thanksgiving Feast for the Homeless

Wednesday, November 25, 2010

Students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine held their 21st annual "Project Feast" Nov. 25, a Thanksgiving dinner for homeless and disadvantaged persons in West Baltimore.

Students, faculty, staff, and friends from several of the six University of Maryland schools in Baltimore gathered at Booker T. Washington Middle School to host the midday meal and provide free clothing and non-perishable food items.

It is a Thanksgiving tradition sponsored by the University Student Government Association; the Medical Alumni Association; and the School of Medicine Student Council. Student organizer, Yon Park, Class of 2013, says "I don't think there's any better way to spend Thanksgiving. We go to school here but I don't think most of us are familiar with the community around us. It's also a great way to meet some of the students and faculty around campus."

Donations included warm winter clothing items, shoes, blankets, and non-perishables, and volunteers provided large bags to carry away the clothing. For the first time, free eye screening and blood pressure tests were offered to the community residents and there was a steady stream of persons being examined.

"We're proud that our medical students have taken a leadership role in this ongoing partnership to share the spirit of giving with our neighbors in West Baltimore each holiday season," says E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Project Feast is in keeping with the School of Medicine's commitment to supporting our community in West Baltimore in a variety of ways."

University President Jay Perman, MD, says, "I am very proud of the 20 years of service by the University of Maryland community, who serve the Project Feast Thanksgiving meal to our West Baltimore neighbors and the School of Medicine students who collect donations and organize the event. This is another opportunity for all of our schools to collaborate and make an important difference in our community."

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 Neighbors of all ages come to enjoy the University's feast on Turkey Day.

 The crowd is is always large for the annual feast.

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