Student groups feed needy

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- Slicing turkey and ham, packing dinners for more than 60 people, the Albany Police Department's AmeriCorps students did their bit Wednesday to spread holiday warmth to those less fortunate in the city.

They joined students from the Albany Police Georgia Recovery Corps, who delivered food Tuesday.

"Yesterday, they took their boxes of turkey dinners to 10 needy families with anywhere from two to six children in a family," said Police Cpl. K.D. Barnes. "Today, they're taking dinners to people 55 and up in the William Binns and Dennis Homes neighborhood."

This is the second year the student groups have taken holiday food to those in need.

About 10 students packed the ham and turkey with turnip greens, lima beans, stuffing, giblet gravy and pound cake at the police station on Broad Avenue. The students joked and laughed about thickness of the ham and said they felt that they were making a contribution to their community.

"This is giving back to the community. It is also opening up the community to the idea that the police are not here to just arrest people," said Octavian Burch, 21, a psychology/sociology major at Albany State University. "This is what fosters better relations in the community. It gives people something good to eat at the holidays."

Operating under government grants, the AmeriCorps students work 1,700 hours a year and get $4,725 in vouchers to help pay for their education. While Burch, who also mentors young students, plans to become a psychologist, others plan law enforcement careers.

Brandon Lake, 21, an Albany Technical College student, plans a career as a Georgia State Trooper.

"I think this is giving back to the elderly," Lake said. "This way they can have a good holiday meal."