ATLANTIC CITY — Just a few days before Thanksgiving, 125 families in need got to pick up their meal in a box Monday courtesy of a city school and State Police efforts.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Pennsylvania Avenue School opened its doors to the families. It was the 12th annual turkey drive troopers helped sponsor in the city.

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Samantha Sickler, a social studies teacher for seventh and eighth grades at the school, helped lead the event. She said each grade level in the pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school collected a different type of food to fill in the boxes.

“We try to make the kids come into running it and not just side step,” Sickler said. “We try to teach them that this is our community, and we take care of our community.”

The members of the State Police Casino Gaming Bureau teamed up with the school educators and other organizations to pack more than 125 boxes full of food, including a frozen turkey and Thanksgiving trimmings such as canned and boxed goods like stuffing, mashed potatoes and biscuits.

State Police Detective Sgt. Richard Wheeler said this kind of event helps establish a good relationships for a good cause. When the drive started, there were 50 turkeys, and now they’ve almost tripled it.

Contributing organizations to the food drive also included the New Jersey State Troopers Non-Commissioned Officers Association, Egg Harbor Township ShopRite, TD Bank Corp., Local 356 Gaming Enforcement PBA, New Jersey Homicide Investigators Association and Wayne Lobascio from Transtar Moving Systems of Moorestown.

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: 609-272-7239 ESerpico@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressSerpico

Covering breaking news for The Press of Atlantic City since September 2016. Graduate of the University of Maryland, Central Jersey native.

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