Chicago students provide homegrown Thanksgiving meals to senior citizens

Hundreds of seniors have homegrown meals for the holidays thanks to some Chicago students. The students grew everything themselves.

This is the 8th year in a row that students at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences have prepared a Thanksgiving feast for seniors in the community.

Normally, the guests would gather inside the school for a sit down meal. But because of COVID, students switched gears and made special, socially distant deliveries to their doorsteps.

The meals Elizabeth Dattner and her father were delivering were months in the making.

“Over the summer we start to plant the crops that we're gonna use,” said teacher Alexandria Pledger.

Students at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences raised the turkeys, grew vegetables and cooked the holiday meals as part of their curriculum.

“A lot of the people right now, especially during COVID, they're not able to have a Thanksgiving meal with their families. So this is something really nice that they enjoy,” Pledger said.

Joyce and Russ Schultz are two of about 350 seniors who received the farm-to-table food and they could not wait until Thursday to dig in.

“It was excellent! Everything was so good,” Joyce said.

But it's not the praise these students work so hard for. Elizabeth Dattner says she hoped to spread cheer during this holiday season unlike any other.

“It's important to provide that spirit in a sense for all the people who live in our community,” Elizabeth said.

Volunteers in the neighborhood also made the deliveries. The Schultz say they are appreciative of the student's hard work.