Students at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy got up in the middle of lunch Tuesday and thanked Sharon Crain for preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the school.
Most of the students agreed it was one of the best — and most special — meals of the year.
Crain spent most of the day Monday preparing the dinner for about 150 people.
80 pounds of turkey served at St. Joe’s
The St. Joe’s food service director made about 80 pounds of turkey and all the traditional fixings like mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn and more to be served Tuesday afternoon during two periods.
An annual Thanksgiving dinner is held at the school as a way to bring a family-style meal to students and staff. It came with a candlelight setting, which also included table clothed tables and Thanksgiving and autumn-type decorations.
“It’s really special,” junior Ana Legaspi said. “We all sit together, and it’s like a second Thanksgiving for us.”
The food, Legaspi added, is “delicious.”
“It’s just like what people would have at home,” she said.
The annual Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition started by former principal Doug Bleggi when the school opened in 2011.
On Tuesday, that tradition continued but with more people than in the past.
More than 150 people participated in school’s Thanksgiving dinner
“I think in the first year, there were only 37 students,” Crain said. “Now, I’m serving about 150.”
But she made enough to feed closer to 200.
“It’s better to have too much,” Crain said with a laugh.
Crain was a retired food service manager at Park Forest Middle School in the State College Area School District.
When St. Joe’s opened, administrators recruited her to work at the school to oversee all food service operations.
She also prepares a similar meal during Christmastime.
It’s so special to have a meal like this and be a part of making it happen, because it’s different than other schools that can’t do this. It’s a very rewarding job.
Sharon Crain, food service director
“It’s so special to have a meal like this and be a part of making it happen, because it’s different than other schools that can’t do this,” Crain said. “It’s a very rewarding job.”