SALAMANCA, N.Y. -- We're celebrating Western New York with a huge community service project organized by students in the Southern Tier.
Hundreds of people in Salamanca got to enjoy a free Thanksgiving meal Monday night thanks to students at the high school.
"They collected thousands of pounds of potatoes, hundreds of pounds of canned corn, cranberries, stuffing, turkeys, gravy. You name it, everything for a Thanksgiving feast," says Superintendent Robert Breidenstein.
Fifty students from the Kiwanis Key Club at Salamanca High School fed more than nine-hundred people Monday night, and they organized everything themselves.
"You hear so much negative about kids today, kids today, kids today. Well, you see this stuff, kids today. It's kind of hidden. Now these are the things that bring it out. These kids are dying to do this. They're fighting about who's going to serve. They're fighting to see who's going to take care of all of the different things we have going on, so that's the side I don't think the public sees a lot, and that's why we teach. That's why we're here," says faculty adviser, Kim Dry.
Members of the service club wanted to not only bring their high school community together, they wanted to do something for the entire city. With lines out the door, they quickly saw just how many people they were able to reach.
"I think next year, even though I'll be graduating, I'm still going to come back to help because it's a big part of me because I'm helping out my community. I'm giving back to them," says Kiwanis Key Club Treasurer McKenzie Rider.
The students even turned it into a competition with each class responsible for collecting a specific item. The sophomores collected the most- nearly 2,500 pounds of potatoes which almost doubled last year's amount.
"The students have cleaned out about a 25 mile radius of potatoes, corn, and Thanksgiving fixings, so we have some if you need some," says Breidenstein.
All of the extra food the students collected that wasn't used was available for people to take home, no questions asked. The rest is going to the local food pantry.