For many, the biggest meal of the year is just around the corner. We're three weeks away from Thanksgiving, and one organization wouldn't be able to fix its feast without the help of the community.
Feeding a crowd is nothing new for Louis Dawson. As he gets ready to make lunch, he says, "We're going to have baked chicken nuggets and seasoned fries."
Dawson is the Food Service Supervisor for Hope Ministries. The group serves about 150 people on a daily basis. The organization, funded by donations, provides three meals a day every day to those in need.
Chief Development & Community Relations Officer David Burrier says, "We're up 16% on the number of meals we've served this year over last year."
Hope Ministries will serve a record 160,000 meals this year, with one of the biggest feasts just weeks away. Burrier says, "Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, we kind of pop it up a little bit, and we'll serve anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000."
It takes about 200 volunteers to make, deliver and serve the meals Thanksgiving Day, and helpers signed up in record time. Burrier says, "This is the earliest that I've known since being at Hope Ministries for 10 years that we have all of our on-site volunteers for Thanksgiving and Christmas already secured. They go fast."
Hope Ministries may already have enough volunteers signed up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there is still a big way you can help. Burrier says, "We're still looking for volunteers to bring food the day before Thanksgiving and the day before Christmas."
The group asks for food like brownies, breakfast items and condiments to use during the holidays and throughout the year. Burrier says, "Just to remind people that we have need for food items every single day of the year."
It’s a need Dawson says he's glad to help fill. He says, "They can come to their Hope family and experience that same thing. And, we're again grateful."
Volunteers can drop off food donations at the Bethel Mission on 6th Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving. Click here to find out specific food needs.