Meridian, Miss. Preparing 500 Thanksgiving plates takes a lot of work and even more food, but Love's Kitchen has already won half the battle with a pantry full of donations. Love's Kitchen Executive Director Fannie Johnson says this year the community went above and beyond to supply the kitchen with everything they could possibly need.
"We have the traditional Thanksgiving meal. We have turkeys, we have macaroni and cheese. We have sweet potatoes, we have collard greens, we have rolls, and it all has been donated. We didn't buy anything. One lady actually donated 30 turkeys," Johnson said.
But this Thanksgiving some changes are in store. The clients will be able to get their hands dirty in the kitchen, baking and washing dishes.
"They will be taking over the kitchen in a sense. Some of the ladies who haven't had their own kitchens in a long time are looking forward to getting in the kitchen and helping," Johnson said. "Some of them want to make homemade cookies and share. And so we're kind of calling it a family day."
Love's Kitchen will also be open all day for clients - with football on the TV and games to play to keep the place feeling homey.
Those who come in to eat say it's that family atmosphere that makes Love's Kitchen such a great place to eat on Thanksgiving day.
"We're going to have a ball down here on Thanksgiving. She's going to have the big widescreen; we'll be able to look at the game. We're just going to have a wang dang doodle down here at the Love's Kitchen," exclaimed Patricia Shamburger, a Thanksgiving client for Love's Kitchen.
With the overwhelming amount of support they've seen, Johnson says there's one thing in particular their team is thankful for this year.
"So we're thankful for a community that loves us, takes care of us, and gives us everything we need," she said.