Salvation Army cranks out 1,350 Thanksgiving meals

Young and old alike enjoyed their Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinners.
Young and old alike enjoyed their Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinners.(WWNY)
Published: Nov. 24, 2023 at 7:07 AM EST|Updated: 13 hours ago
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Stove tops were simmering, and ovens were filled as the Salvation Army was bustling with mouths to feed.

“We need a lot of volunteers to make this day a success,” Capt. Elizabeth Nicoll said. “That has truly happened. It’s just wonderful to see the community truly come together and help everyone out.”

More than 120 volunteers spent the day cooking, filling plates, and mingling with folks that stopped by for a meal.

“Everything. I’m all about it,” Jacob Stone said. “Turkey is probably my favorite but I’m all about all good.”

Manpower was much needed. The team cooked up 60 whole turkeys, 600 pounds of potatoes, and 48 cans of cranberries.

“It has been running like a well-oiled machine,” Nicoll said.

The holiday brought out volunteers both young and old to lend a hand. Sixteen-year-old Hannah Engle says she can barely remember a time where they weren’t volunteering.

“I’m just, like, enjoying it,” she said. “I just like seeing people happy and everything.”

Yvette Rolle has volunteered at the Salvation Army for the last 17 years, believing it’s her responsibility to help.

“I have a compassion for doing this,” Rolle said. “I love to serve the community and Iove to feed the people. It’s a great blessing to serve.”

One 10th Mountain Division soldier spent his Thanksgiving serving for a different Army than he normally does.

“Selfless service is part of our values,” Spec. Angelo Gonzales said. “Giving back to the community and to everyone is what we do and what we believe in.”

Although many turned out to eat at the Salvation Army, that only accounted for a fraction of the meals made. A majority were boxed up and served as takeout.”

“I planned for about 1,200 and we have some backups just in case we go over 1,200,” Nicoll said. “Everyone will get fed well.”

By day’s end, the Salvation Army served up a total of 1,350 meals, with most of them takeout.