La Salle students, staff serve Thanksgiving meals to Philadelphia first responders

November 20, 2023

Members of the University community provided local Philadelphia Police Department officers and staff with a traditional helping of carved turkey and all the fixings.

La Salle students provide meals to police officers

La Salle University continued its annual holiday tradition of students and staff providing Thanksgiving meals to the first responders who serve the campus and the neighboring community. 

Students and staff visited the Philadelphia Police Department’s 35th precinct with traditional Thanksgiving fare, including savory carved turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, plus apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. 

Since the 14th precinct headquarters is under renovation, police and staff arrived at the Blue & Gold Dining Commons on La Salle’s campus where University community members were ready to serve. 

La Salle students provide meals to police officers
La Salle Ambassadors with University President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D. (far right).

This tradition began almost a quarter century ago by La Salle Ambassadors.  

Beginning in 1999, students from the La Salle Ambassadors organized the first Thanksgiving meal drop-off. They fundraised year-round to make it possible. Today, the mission to feed first responders remains the same. 

Mia Mattingly, ’24, is the vice president of the La Salle Ambassadors and knew many were looking forward to the day of service as it’s a favorite among students as a way to give back.  

La Salle students provide meals to police officers

“It’s a long-standing tradition with the Ambassadors,” Mattingly said. “It’s nice to be able to give back to the community that protects La Salle.”  

Officers spoke with students, staff, and La Salle President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., as they received their meals.  

La Salle President speaks with police officers

“Providing our first responders with a thank you during the holiday season is the Lasallian way,” Frederick A. Pettit, J.D., Vice President of University Advancement, said. “Our students take the initiative to put this event together every year. It’s a great tradition for us to come together with our community partners and first responders and thank them for all they do for La Salle and our neighbors in Belfield and Northwest Philadelphia.”