Clark State criminal justice club, Springfield police to donate Thanksgiving meals to 10 families

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

The program, Operation Thanksgiving, will donate meals and supplements on Tuesday to 10 families identified by Springfield police.

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

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

The criminal justice club and police academy students collected nonperishable food items throughout the fall semester for the program, and will buy additional food items from Meijer Tuesday 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 will be sorted and boxed by volunteers from the college and the SPD Alumni Association for the chosen families.

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Operation Thanksgiving has served families in the community for 30 years, and this is the fifth year the Clark State Criminal Justice Club has participated in the program.

“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 Division 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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