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Saint Louis Public Schools and community partners hand out 80 Thanksgiving dinners to families in need

The food will feed roughly 370 people who the district believes needs it the most.

ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis Public Schools system is spreading extra love to families in need the most by providing a Thanksgiving meal.

Friday marked the 10th year the Students-in-Transition program coordinated efforts to gather food from St. Louis Police Department (SLPD), Sam's Club, St. Louis Public School Foundation and other community partners.

The Students-in-Transition program is a division in the St. Louis Public School Foundation which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides students with a sense of hope in their respective situations. 

This year 80 families, which is about 370 people, will be served through the generosity. The program serves 5,000 students a year. 

The coordinator said the meals are life changing for some families. 

"We just had a family to come through who started the school year out unhoused," Dr. Deidra Thomas-Murray, who is a coordinator, said. "They moved into permanent housing on October 21."

Thomas-Murray said sadly the shooting that happened at Central Visual and Performing Acts High School (CVPA) turned her world upside down. In the midst of their stress and trauma, they lost their food stamp card. 

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"They were without," she said. "They basically cried receiving the gift."

The generosity is repaid with gratitude. 

Vee Burks is passing out meals to families and taking one home to her daughter and grandchildren. 

"Going through the hard times of COVID-19 I have been running through quite a bit of not being able to have," Burks said. "This will be more than a blessing to be able to provide a Thanksgiving to my family. I am very blessed and thankful and glad to spend time with my family. Always share the love and appreciation when able."

Barbara "Momo" Savkovich is a blessing to her three grandchildren. She's raising them after both of their parents died. They live on a fixed income, but she said she has everything they need. 

"God gave them to me for a reason," Momo said. "I always believe god won't give you more than you can't handle. [I am looking for] peace this Thanksgiving and for the kids to cope a little bit better after all they have been through and for me to have a little more patience."

If you want to help with the "Christmas Winter Wonderland" clothing and Toy giveaway, call 314-345-5750 or their website.

If there's something newsworthy happening where you live send us an email to tips@ksdk.com and our team of reporters will look into it.

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