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Need a hot meal this Thanksgiving? York United Plate Patrol's got you covered

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
York City Police Chief Troy Bankert packs Thanksgiving Day meals with York High junior Emily Vergara at the school's cafeteria during the York United Plate Patrol sponsored by York City School Police Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. York City, Springettsbury and Spring Garden Township police joined school district staff, students and community volunteers to pack and deliver about 500 meals to those who needed a hot holiday meal in the York area. In addition to York City residents, people in Springettsbury Township and Spring Garden Township were eligible for meals this year. Bill Kalina photo

York United Plate Patrol has one mission: to keep families in York County together on Thanksgiving Day by providing meals to those in need.

The program, first initiated three years ago as a collaboration of several York County police agencies and the York City School District, has grown to provide more than 1,000 meals to those in need since its inception. 

"We're just super excited to be a part of this and help other people out and share the blessings that we've had over the years," said Mike Muldrow, York City School District's police chief. 

Residents from any municipality in York County are able to place an order for a meal by either calling or texting 717-825-8079. 

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact that number to inquire about helping with food preparations or delivery on Thanksgiving Day, Muldrow said. 

Volunteers pack Thanksgiving Day meals at the York High cafeteria and deliver them during the York United Plate Patrol sponsored by York City School Police Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. York City, Springettsbury and Spring Garden Township police joined school district staff, students and community volunteers to pack and deliver about 500 meals to those who needed a hot holiday meal in the York area. In addition to York City residents, people in Springettsbury Township and Spring Garden Township were eligible for meals this year. Bill Kalina photo

Last year, York United Plate Patrol was able to provide more than 800 meals to families and residents across the county. 

This year, Muldrow said he hopes to exceed 1,000 orders. 

Inspiration for the York United Plate Patrol program was first sparked at Muldrow's church, where a pastor challenged the congregation to "be good neighbors" and take a plate of food to somebody in need before sitting down to eat with their own families.

Orders will be delivered on Thanksgiving Day. 

Volunteers gather Thursday morning at William Penn Senior High School, 101 W. College Ave., to finish heating up food and boxing it up. Muldrow said volunteers should be starting to deliver hot meals around 10:30 a.m. 

"The purpose is to keep people in their home comfortably and to feed them," Muldrow said. 

Volunteers pack Thanksgiving Day meals at the York High cafeteria and deliver them during the York United Plate Patrol sponsored by York City School Police Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. York City, Springettsbury and Spring Garden Township police joined school district staff, students and community volunteers to pack and deliver about 500 meals to those who needed a hot holiday meal in the York area. In addition to York City residents, people in Springettsbury Township and Spring Garden Township were eligible for meals this year. Bill Kalina photo

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.