Students, faculty, staff, and friends from several of the University's six schools gathered at Booker T. Washington Middle School to host the midday meal and provide free clothing and nonperishable food items.
It is a Thanksgiving tradition co-sponsored by the Medical Alumni Association, University Student Government Association, and the School of Medicine Student Council. More than 100 students from across the campus helped to organize and staff the event.
Again this year, there was a long line of people waiting to get in when the doors opened. In addition to serving a hot Thanksgiving meal, volunteers distributed clothing and donated goods at the meal.
To view a few scenes from the 2011 Project Feast and clothing giveaway, click on the video below.
Student organizer Grace Kim from the School of Medicine said, "I think it's important to remember that the University is part of a greater community, even though it's so easy to get wrapped up in our academic lives. Volunteering with Project Feast was a great experience last year and I look forward to working with fellow students and faculty in serving the homeless again this year."
Andrew Dubina, also a student in the School of Medicine, said, "This is my second year doing Project Feast. When I signed up last year, I didn't really know what to expect other than to help our community in need. I found out that there is so much more, even here in Baltimore, than we are exposed to when we live in our little bubble at school. Interacting with our peers, future patients, and those who are less fortunate than us gives us a glimpse into their lives and struggles as they make ends meet. At the end of the day, I will look forward to going home and having a great meal with my family and friends, which is unfortunately more than most of the people that attend Project Feast's Thanksgiving Dinner will be able to say."
University President Jay A. Perman, MD, said, "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."
"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," said 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."
The Project Feast supporters held an interdisciplinary mixer at Pickles Pub Nov. 16 to help raise money for the project. It was organized by the School of Medicine American Medical Association and the School of Pharmacy Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society.