Clark State criminal justice club, Springfield police, Meijer partner to donate Thanksgiving meals

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Clark State College Criminal Justice Club will partner with the Springfield Police Division and Meijer for the fifth year in a row to give Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

Through the Operation Thanksgiving program, meals and supplements will be donated to 10 families identified by Springfield police on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Karen Benton, associate professor and criminal justice program coordinator, said service to others is a fundamental part of criminal justice.

“Criminal justice students at Clark State are provided opportunities to learn about our community resources and also understand limitations that impact citizen’s quality of life,” she said. “This activity provides our students with the opportunity to see how community organizations and members can come together to support those in need.”

The criminal justice and police academy students collected non-perishable food items throughout the fall semester for the program, and will help secure additional food items at Meijer that morning through monetary donations made to the police division.

The Box 21 truck will deliver the dinners and supplemental food items to a staging area where the items are sorted and boxed by volunteers from the SPD Alumni Association and college.

Operation Thanksgiving has served families in the community for 30 years, and this is the fifth year the Criminal Justice Club has participated since it began in 2019.

“The empathy these students have for families in our community that are in need has been evidenced each year,” Benton said. “Our partnership with the Springfield Police is one way our students demonstrate the classroom knowledge they have gained and their commitment to the citizens of our community.”

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