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Palmer private school has their biggest Thanksgiving delivery yet

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 8:39 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2020 at 8:40 AM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Amazing Grace Academy in Palmer does a Thanksgiving meal delivery every year. Due to the pandemic, staff thought they would end up downsizing if they didn’t end up canceling it outright. To their pleasant surprise, it turned into their biggest delivery yet.

Principal Dan Bailey said they were shooting for 35 deliveries at the beginning, quite a few less than last year. This year, 65 meals, with all the fixings and even a little bit extra, went to families in the community that needed it most.

Bailey said they were able to serve so many people because so many donations came in.

“There’s a recognition of need but a lot of people don’t know how to help at times,” Bailey said, “providing this opportunity, people recognized it, people stepped out and really donated money. It says a lot about our school kids, our school family, and our church family.”

After some hefty donations, he said they got about $5,000 in help. That’s not including the turkeys, potatoes and other ingredients donated.

The students were happy to do the work. At young ages, they know that the pandemic has made the world a hard place to be for a lot of people.

“A lot of people out here in the Valley don’t have enough money, don’t have good jobs to get the money to get the food they want, so we’re here to provide them with it,” said senior Joshua Hernandez

“As a parent, you want to keep your family safe, and you want to feed them. So I feel like that could be a little hard for some people,” said sophomore Leily Hinman.

Some of them went through the hardships themselves. Senior Kadin Bailey said his mom lost her job at the dental practice where she works as a hygienist. She’s since got it back, but he said it was hard for a while. He said that time of relying on savings and pinching pennies made what he was doing for the community more meaningful.

“We were just spending it, you know? And then there are people who don’t have anything. They can’t even spend it on, like, extra food, you gotta spend it just on food. You can’t go out do something fun,” he said.

With cars of food driven by parent volunteers, the food made its way to the homes of people like Veronica Nelson. As a single mom with two kids, she said the food made the holiday possible.

“I wasn’t even going to attempt it without this,” she said. “Like trying to go shopping and afford all that. It just — it would have been crazy, so this is huge.”

For the kids who spent a Friday morning packing boxes and delivering food to strangers, they said they were thankful just to be part of something good during hard times.

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