Every year, volunteers from the mission provide the homeless community, and anyone in need, with a Thanksgiving meal. (report from wdrb.com)
No one gets turned away for a meal on Thanksgiving Day at Wayside, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner being served to the homeless community and anyone in need.
It takes anywhere from 700 to 1,000 volunteers to prepare and serve the meals, with many arriving at 4 a.m. to start cooking and setting up the dining room. The menu includes traditional Thanksgiving favorites like smoked turkey, deviled eggs, green beans, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie.
The goal is for no person or family to go hungry on Thanksgiving.
Breakfast was served at 6:45 a.m. and included pancakes, biscuits, and gravy, bacon and sausage, orange juice, and coffee.
Wayside Chef Barry King says it takes a lot of hard work, but also said "it's fun" to help so many people.
King says he appreciates the many volunteers that make it all possible.
"It's going to be a hard day," King said, "but it helps to have volunteers who come in that help us get all this food together to feed all these people.
Wayside usually serves around 3,000 meals -- including breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- on Thanksgiving.
Nina Moseley, chief operating officer at Wayside, said they hope to brighten people's lives during the holidays.
“We want to give a very good, home-style holiday to our homeless folks today," Moseley said.
“We think it’s very important because we want folks to know that people do care about them. We want them to experience what it’s like to have a nice family holiday, and we want to give them a day that’s a good memory in the middle of what’s not so good for them.”
She says the volunteers who serve the food, as well as the organizations and individuals who provide donations, make it all possible.
“Without our volunteers in the community, we would not be able to put this on every year," Moseley said.
It's not just about the food -- there were plenty of festivities as well, including live music, a dance party, a DJ and more.
After lunch, volunteers also planned to pass out coats to help people stay warm after they leave the shelter. The coats were donated as part of a free coat exchange program. Several locations in Louisville were also giving away coats until 1 p.m., and more giveaways are planned.