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By Danielle Bell Ottawa Sun October 11th, 2014

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The Ottawa Mission prepares for Thanksgiving dinner

by Danielle Bell, Ottawa Sun
First posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014 07:34 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, October 11, 2014 – 07:45 PM EDT

It is one of the busiest times of the year for the Ottawa Mission, which is preparing to feed hundreds of the city’s most vulnerable on Thanksgiving Monday. An estimated 2,800 meals are expected to be served over nearly six hours, and that means food
preparation starts early.

“We’ve got great volunteer support,” said Shirley Roy, with the Mission, about the dinner that has grown every year. “It started as a meal for people in shelters, and they saw people in the community ask about Thanksgiving dinner. It’s evolved into a big community event.”

The massive meal includes: 2,300 lbs. of oven-roasted turkey, 15 pans of stuffing, 600 lbs. of baked ham, 400 lbs. of mashed potatoes, 400 lbs. of glazed baby carrots, 400 lbs. of green beans almandine, 225 assorted pies, 200 dozen dinner rolls and 50 gallons of giblet gravy.

Preparation was already well underway Saturday, as turkeys were being cooked, sliced and frozen. More than 100 volunteers help pull off the special holiday meal, which is for those who are homeless, hungry or alone.

Typically, Thanksgiving is a busier time than Christmas for the Mission, since winter weather hasn’t quite set in, which can make it difficult for some people to get around. Donations of food and money help fund the massive meal, but the help is needed beyond just the holidays. For a list of most-needed items, visit ottawamission.com.