Volunteers prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the homebound

Volunteer placing turkey on a foil. (Photo courtesy of Reuters video file)
Volunteer placing turkey on a foil. (Photo courtesy of Reuters video file)

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Reuters) — Hundreds of volunteers in Washington, D.C. were filled with the spirit of Thanksgiving on Thursday (November 24), taking time out of their holiday to help bring food to those who otherwise might not be able to spend the day with friends and family.

D.C. charity ‘Food & Friends’ spearheaded it’s annual tradition of bringing together volunteers and staff over the week to prepare meals for some 3,500 homebound residents who are facing life-challenging illnesses including HIV/AIDS and cancer.

The charity serves up enough turkey, stuffing, green beans, baked potatoes and more to feed family and friends of five. If a recipient needs a second turkey, then it says that can be arranged.

Food & Friends Executive Director Craig Shniderman sizes up just how much food is being prepared. “This is a massive amount of food because we’re preparing meals today for 3,500 people. So that means 8,600 pounds of turkeys. That’s 675 whole turkeys. A whole turkey for every client. About 1,500 rolls, 2,200 freshly baked pies. Ninety four gallons of gravy,” says Shniderman.

Packing up all that food and getting it on the road and to the homes of those hungry for a Thanksgiving dinner is a carefully orchestrated group effort.

“The volunteers are very important to us, because it takes 850 volunteers this week alone to make this Thanksgiving possible. And today about 450 people will volunteer here,” Shniderman added.

Chefs work all week to help cook the Thanksgiving feast, and are assisted by food preparation volunteers who help with the groceries.

On Thanksgiving day itself, food delivery volunteers, who use their own cars, are tasked with bringing the holiday meals to 2-4 clients within the D.C. Metro area, including Maryland and Virginia.