Thanksgiving Dinner Preps

Thanksgiving Dinner Preps

By WEEK Reporter
By Denise Jackson

November 24, 2010 Updated Nov 24, 2010 at 7:46 PM CDT

This year agencies are preparing to serve up more meals to families this Thanksgiving.
Volunteers have been up for the call with a new strategy in place at the South Side Mission in Peoria.

These volunteers at the South Side Mission have been at it for more than two hours dishing out turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing with all the trimmings. Unlike previous years they're getting a jump start Thanksgiving eve by filling 25-hundred trays.

"We're providing a ready to eat done up a day ahead. We'll ship em out tomorrow, they're micro-wavable. It got a little bit hard to do it, how we've done it in the past," South Side Mission Chef Chris Franzoni said.

In the past volunteers prepared dinner trays on Thanksgiving morning and delivered it hot to families around Central Illinois. This year they're sending meals out to more locations and with such a huge need to fill they're working more efficiently.

"It just feels like I'm running a marathon race. I just think I',m running a race and trying to go fast, " said volunteer Anupriya Lehman.

"When you are gonna do two-thousand meals you have to be organized if you want to get them out in time for everyone to have a nice Thanksgiving lunch," said South Side Mission Executive Director Phil Newton.

Thanksgiving dinner at the mission is such a tradition that families look forward to volunteering every year.

"We wanted to do something that was very near and dear to my heart. I wanted my boys to know that they can do something to give back to the community," said volunteer Michelle Silman.

At the Salvation Army the task is not as daunting but with about 350 meals planned the need is still there.

"We've done 26 turkeys which accounts for 330 pounds and about 50 pounds of green beans," said Kay McGrane.

Salvation Army volunteers will serve dinner at the Sylvia Fites family Center beginning at 11 and South Side Mission volunteers will begin delivering as early as 8-thirty in the morning.

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