Rescue Mission Preparing 3,200 Thanksgiving Dinners For Those In Need (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

November 26, 2013 Updated Nov 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Turkeys are a hot commodity this week as people plan for their Thanksgiving dinners, but some people simply can't afford the cost of a Thanksgiving meal.

That's why one local shelter works for weeks to make sure thousands can celebrate the holiday.

"Hope begins with a meal," said Pastor Donovan Coley, The Rescue Mission.

And the Rescue Mission plans to build a lot of hope this Thanksgiving with 3,200 turkey dinners. Every Thanksgiving they welcome people from all walks of life to enjoy a free turkey dinner.

"This is a tradition for some people. To even come back and have this meal. I know there's a church group that comes in a shares a meal with everybody," said Chris Richardson, Food Service Manager, The Rescue Mission.

The Fort Wayne shelter served up 2,800 meals last Thanksgiving so they're preparing 400 extra meals this year, and are hopeful they won't have any leftovers.

But it's hard to believe when you hear the numbers. They have 3,000 pounds of turkey and gravy, 700 pounds of green beans, 700 pounds of garlic mashed potatoes, 400 pounds of stuffing, 100 pounds of cranberry salad, 3200 dinner rolls and 350 pies.

"We'll have enough turkeys to feed everybody and to put a smile back on their face this Thanksgiving," said Pastor Donovan. "On that particular day we're going to create a family atmosphere for as many people as come through the doors."

It's also an opportunity for some to learn about what the Rescue Mission does to help people all year long.

"As they come in to this beautiful environment on Thanksgiving we may just be the place that could also help them to get back on their feet as they continue to go through life," said Pastor Donovan.

The free turkey dinners are being served from noon until 3 p.m. Thursday at the Rescue Mission located at 301 West Superior Street, and the public is welcome.

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