Spearheaded by the school’s Student Government Association (SGA), the holiday dinner, a new event in the community, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21, where guests can enjoy a meal from noon to 3 p.m. at Deptford High School’s cafeteria, 575 Fox Run Road.
“I know there are people who are struggling right now,” said Carletta Sherry, a paraprofessional and SGA advisor at Deptford High School. “We figured we could give a helping hand and give the people of Deptford a good meal.”
For Carletta, who thought of the idea for the dinner last year with her husband Kevin – the high school’s track and field head coach – the need for a hot meal is one that she has experienced before.
Growing up, Carletta was in and out of different foster homes before she was adopted, wearing hand-me-downs and eating meals that were donated from the community. She saw first-hand a side of communities that many people forget about, especially during the holidays. She brought that perspective into her adult life, where she would open up her home to family members who were struggling.
“I had family members who didn’t really have places to live, didn’t have any clothes, didn’t really have anything,” Carletta added. “So I would always open up my home to get them back on their feet.”
During the school year, Carletta, her husband and SGA began to work with the district and township, collaborating with the board of education and Mayor Paul Medany to try and make the event a true community atmosphere.
“It just came to me one day,” said Carletta. “I know there’s a lot of people in our community that could benefit from this.”
The dinner is not just meant for those who are in need of a hot meal, but for anyone who wants to come together and share a meal with other members of the community, said Carletta.
The event is looking for volunteers to help with serving food, waiting tables or handing out Christmas gifts to children while they wait for Santa. Interested volunteers can contact Lou Randazzo at (856) 232-2700 ext. 3025 for more information.
The event will serve traditional holiday food, including turkey, mashed potatoes and peach cobbler, according to Carletta. All of the food has been donated by different companies and community groups within the area.
Transportation is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at multiple spots around town, including Walmart on Cooper Street and the following schools; Central, Oak Valley, Pine Acres, Shady Lane, Good Intent, Lake Tract and the board of education building.
“Say hi, make a conversation, and maybe have a meal with someone,” said Carletta.
For more information about the dinner, visit Deptford Township School District’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/deptfordtwp.