EDMOND — Volunteers are cooking 150 turkeys and expecting 3,000 meals to be served at the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday.
About 500 pounds of potatoes, 450 pounds of sweet potatoes, 25 pounds of cornbread, 75 loaves of bread, 80 gallons of broth and 50 gallons of gravy are being prepared.
“We are working 100 miles an hour from Friday to Wednesday,” Mike Laska, a longtime volunteer, said Tuesday.
This is the 31st year for the dinner.
Frank Paradise Jr., son of the dinner's founder, was helping to cook on Tuesday.
The first dinner served 50 people in 1981. This year, volunteers expect to serve 2,000 meals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Central Oklahoma Nigh University Center. The public is welcome at no charge.
An additional 1,000 meals will be delivered to homes or given to people in need.
“The only thing we ask is you come with a good heart,” Laska said.
Throughout this week, 600 volunteers will work to prepare the meal.
“This is as much for the people who volunteer as it is for those who partake in the meal,” Laska said.
Volunteers cooking the food at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday had filled half of a 40-foot refrigerated truck with prepared food. The truck, donated by U.S. Foods, will be moved to UCO, where the food will be served.
Other churches participating are St. John the Baptist Catholic, Southern Hills Christian, First United Methodist and New Covenant United Methodist.
The food is donated. Citizen's Bank of Edmond this year donated more than 100 turkeys.
“After the meal, all the equipment has to be moved back to storage before the end of Friday,” Laske said. “We need more young families to volunteer. This is rewarding but becoming physically more than we can handle.”
People who cannot leave their homes can call 341-3602, ext. 130, to arrange for delivery.