Thanksgiving meal today at City Mission

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2011

At 6:30 this morning, some folks who have the holiday off may just be getting that first cup of coffee. But for the small army of volunteers at the Ironton City Mission, that is the start time for final preparations to feed 600 people.

The annual Thanksgiving Day dinner for the needy and lonely will begin at noon at the mission, 710 N. Fifth St.

“Probably 85 to 90 percent of the meals are takeout,” the Rev. Jeff Cremeans, mission director said. “We may serve 75 people here. Last year was a record year. We served more than 600 meals.”

Email newsletter signup

Cremeans said the dinner was started in the 1950s and has not only continued ever since, it has grown over the years.

“We do it to be a blessing to people and it gives people who may normally eat alone a chance to come out and enjoy a free meal,” Cremeans said. “And some of the shut-ins don’t want to cook for themselves.”

Preparations for the meal actually began earlier this week when women in the church volunteered to take a turkey home and cook it. Volunteers gathered Wednesday to assemble dry ingredients for the dressing. The result is a Thanksgiving feast: turkey and dressing, cole slaw, green beans, mashed potatoes and dessert.

What does it take to feed 600 people? Cremeans said the meal requires 27 20-pound turkeys, 100 pounds of cabbage, 100 pounds of bread for dressing, 50 gallons of green beans and, he guessed, 25 gallons of mashed potatoes.