UCPD turkey giveaway brightens student-parents’ holiday

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Sam, a UC Berkeley optometry student who didn't want to give her last name, accepts her turkey dinner from Terri Castenade, a civilian police administrator, while police Captain Alex Yao watches. (UC Berkeley photo by Jeremy Snowden).

Sam, a UC Berkeley optometry student, accepts her turkey dinner from Terri Castaneda, a civilian police business clerk, while Captain Alex Yao watches. (UC Berkeley photos by Jeremy Snowden).

Jenny Oh’s first Thanksgiving in Berkeley was made a little brighter on Thursday, when UCPD officers and staff delivered almost a full Thanksgiving meal to her door.

The junior English major and single mom of two signed up for help from the campus police department, which gave out turkeys, fixings and $40 supermarket gift cards to 45 residents of University Village, Berkeley’s housing complex for students with families.

“We don’t have family in the area, but we’re starting to make some friends,” said Oh, who moved to Berkeley from Palm Springs in August. “It is so great to have so much support from the community here.”

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She said the frozen turkey, sweet potatoes and carrots would help her put together a respectable meal on a budget, without getting too distracted from her studies.

The giveaway is an annual event for UCPD, which raised $1,800 for the gift cards. The turkeys and vegetables were donated by Cal Dining and its partners.

“We have an opportunity to directly service the community,” said Margo Bennett, who as police chief spent a rainy hour going door to door delivering turkeys. “It is great seeing the sense of thanks residents have; it is a good, warm feeling.”

Officer Michael Wyckoff is seen handing the turkeys out to SPO Supervisor Nicole Miller. (UC Berkeley photo by Jeremy Snowden)

UCPD Officer Michael Wyckoff is seen handing turkeys to SPO Supervisor Nicole Miller.

Sam, a third-year optometry student who didn’t want to give her last name, said she appreciated the gesture.

“I think it just spreads so much joy, even if that sounds cliché,” she said after getting her turkey and vegetables. “It is really nice.”



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