Friday, April 22, 2011

Frozen Chickens

by Jan Shoop
Every year around the Christmas holiday, donations would start flowing into the school. Companies would donate clothes, food, toys and sometimes money. One organization held a huge Christmas party for the students every year. Santa came to the party with gifts and pizza. One year the school received socks and another year watches. It was always a surprise, because you never knew what donations would arrive.
The donations and parties were a big help to the families at the school, as they had little in the way of Christmas gifts or celebrations at home.

When I received a call that a large national organization was going to donate chickens, I was very excited. I imagined giving a whole chicken to each family for Christmas.  

The day came for the chicken delivery. A big truck drove up to the school. We all went out to the front of the school to supervise the delivery. To our surprise, the men unloaded five pallets stacked high with boxes filled with chickens. This was a little more chicken, then I expected. However, we gladly accepted the boxes. I walked over to the first box and opened it. I quickly realized the boxes were not filled with chickens, but 25-pound packages of frozen breaded chicken tenders.

What were we going to do with all these bags of breaded chicken tenders? Maria and I, along with a group of the high school students, pulled the boxes into the cafeteria. Maria had a great idea. We’d repackage the 25-pound packages into smaller bags and give them out to the kids. Hey, it was still chicken.

I drove across the street to Fry’s Grocery and bought a whole bunch of one-gallon plastic freezer bags. Then Maria, a few students, some of the teachers and I repackaged all the chicken. We had bags of chicken spread all over the school kitchen. On counter tops, tables everywhere. I’m sure if the health inspector had walked in, at that moment, he would have had a heart attack.

We set up tables out by the front gate and arranged the bags of chicken tenders on them. When the school day was over, we gave each student a big bag of chicken to take home. It worked out pretty well, and the kids were very excited. But, we still had a lot of chicken left, so Maria put it all in the refrigerator and freezer. For the next week, she cooked chicken and the students ate chicken along with their lunch and breakfast for every meal. As an added benefit, we had chicken, instead of cookies, for our staff meetings.

So – if you ever receive a donation you’re not quite sure what to do with, be creative and think about the frozen chickens.

You just read another humorous story from our upcoming book, Kids Without Stuff!

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