Volunteers prepare thousands of meals for Orlando Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving Day dinner

ORLANDO, Fla. — One local organization is working to make sure that everyone enjoys a hot meal on this Thanksgiving holiday.


Volunteers with the Orlando Salvation Army started preparing the food for more than 4,000 individual meals on Wednesday. Channel 9 was there as crews set up tables at the facility in Downtown Orlando.

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The students and chefs at Valencia College’s culinary arts program had pots brewing at 2 a.m Thursday, making their own broth, then adding it to breadcrumbs to make stuffing from scratch.

“This is the best event of the year. The faculty and staff and students, they all look forward to this.” Dean of the Valencia College’s School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Chef Alex Erdmann said. “This is how the community should work. This is how you reach out to the community.”

Once the cooking was done, the hot food was wrapped up and loaded for the three minute drive from the Creative Village to the Salvation Army’s dining hall.

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Hundreds of volunteers were on hand to help serve.

“I feel good. I feel grateful to just be able to do this,” volunteer Alvin Higgins said of the experience. “Nothing will make you closer to God than giving back.”

In addition to the 4,000 meals served at the Salvation Army’s dining hall, another 4,000 meals were prepared to be delivered to people in need.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.