A Valley Ranch Elementary School student brings a donated turkey for the Coppell Independent School District’s 10th Annual Kid For Turkey Food Drive. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – Thanksgiving is a time for family centered around a table full of food. After events this morning, help is on the way for some North Texans struggling to put food on that table.

The Coppell Independent School District held its 10th annual Kids 4 Turkeys Food Drive on Friday. Last year the district collected more than 3,500 turkeys.

Valley Ranch Elementary School brought in the most turkeys last year, over 600. This year they plan to do even better.

Mildred is a 5th grader at the school and she has brought a turkey every year she’s been a student. “I like to help families,” she said. “I want families to have a great Thanksgiving so they can have a great feast.”

The number of turkeys taken to schools in wagons and grocery bags didn’t fairly represent the number of birds donated. There were dozens of families that took part in the districts online Virtual Turkey Drive and Text-a-Turkey collections. All of the donated turkeys and money is headed to the North Texas Food Bank. Many of the birds will be in the home of a needy family by the evening.

North Texas Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Paul Wunderlich said, “These turkeys will all be back in the food bank and in the freezer by Noon and in the afternoon be distributed to our member agencies”. Wunderlich added that the Coppell ISD is expected to bring in enough turkeys to fill a semi-truck. The agency distributes about eight truck loads every Thanksgiving.

It is difficult not to notice that the Valley Ranch Elementary student population is extremely diverse. It is in fact the most diverse school in the district with 80-percent of the school population coming from another country – more than 30 countries are represented by children.

While Thanksgiving is a uniquely American tradition, the school that does the best in the annual food drive is the one with the most new Americans.

They are students from a global village bringing in turkeys by armful, carload and wagon. Every language has a word for hunger.

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