By Ukee Washington


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  For more than 20 years, a North Philadelphia high school has made it a mission to give its neighbors a good Thanksgiving.

Hundreds of students fanned out from St Joseph’s Prep courtyard to deliver Thanksgiving dinner to the North Philly neighbors, accompanied by a brass band.

It all started a few days ago, with students filling more than 300 laundry baskets with more than 14,000 pounds of food and household supplies.

Teacher Leo Vaccaro explained that in each basket, “we have about 41 pounds of food going it, and it’s enough that could feed a family for ten days.”

The baskets included coffee, soups, cereals, and almost all the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner.

Senior Andrew Oliver said, “Sometimes around the holidays, large Thanksgiving meals aren’t financially feasible. What we’re trying to go is give these families some great food that they can enjoy around the holidays.”

Senior Brendan Heenan said, “We know they don’t have what we have.”

Some of the food was bought through a website called YouGiveGoods.com, which lets donors buy food and have it shipped straight to the school.

“They could send it to all their friends and family and alumni around the country, and raise the amount of goods that they did,” Michelle Seideneck explained.

Fast forward to delivery day, “I’m feeling the vibe just coming down the street,” Ukee Washington said.

“It’s just great, just being able to help everybody out,” one student said.

CBS3 was there as the students delivered the baskets and turkeys in person. One of them went to Aquilla Walker and her son.

“I like to see the kids get together and do this for the community. We really appreciate it,” Aquilla said.

Ukee asked one block captain, Vandella Goodman, “When you see young men and a school doing this, how does that make you feel?”

“Makes me very proud and very happy,” Vandella said.

Some of the food will also be delivered to food pantries and organizations who help people in need, such as St. Peter’s, St. Francis Inn, and the Coalition Against Hunger.

Ukee Washington