ICAN provides pre-Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds in Chandler

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Thanksgiving dinner came early at ICAN in Chandler -- some 100 families and 600 people making up what would be a feast for the holiday.

"We are eating turkey, green beans and corn," Angel Soto said.

Food and family photos all for free, along with a little dinner and dancing. Wednesday night's dinner was provided to many families who may not have had their turkey otherwise.

ICAN provides free after-school programs for low-income children.

"They get homework help, we feed them dinner, they have recreation time, we have classes for them on juvenile delinquency and substance abuse," said Becky Jackson, president and CEO of ICAN.

Eight out of 10 children in the area who ICAN serves live in extreme poverty.

ICAN programs are free to the public.

Hayley Soto is a mother of five who takes care of her two nephews, as well.

"It's good for them to come after school and it's good for the kids so they're not at home during breaks and during summer just staying at home being bored," Soto said. "They get to spend time with their friends. They get help with their homework."

Her 9-year-old daughter, Erika, loves her time at the after-school programs.

"We do activities and we can socialize," Erika said.

Wednesday night was a time for families to get together, fill their bellies and share in ICAN's 10-year-tradition.

For more information on ICAN, visit www.icanaz.org.