DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Students in the culinary arts program at Lincoln High School treated their teachers and staff to a holiday spread on Thursday, but that luncheon was just a start.

This weekend the students will prepare, chop and cook for their community. They’re making all of the Thanksgiving meals for the Dallas Bethlehem Center’s community dinner.

akids North Texas High School Students Cooking Up Compassion

Lincoln High School culinary arts students (Robbie Owens – CBS11)

“I love just giving back and not necessarily receiving,” says senior culinary arts student Jamondra Glenn. “It just makes me feel so excited.”

The Thanksgiving dinner is a staple at the neighborhood center and students say they hope their involvement will send a message of unity to the community.

“I feel like the fact that it’s from the students will give it more worth because the youth understand our environment and what’s happening in South Dallas,” said Glenn.

Classmate Kenyasia Gatlin says she hopes the sharing of a hot meal will help unify the area, often plagued by poverty and crime.

“Getting the community back together and letting them know that we are all a family, so fighting one another is not an option,” says Gatlin, who in spite of her love of cooking, wants to go to college to become a nurse.

It’s the helping people that she says she loves.

“It makes me feel overjoyed at the fact that they won’t have to miss a meal.”