Preparing to Feed the Homeless on Thanksgiving

By: Gary Loe
By: Gary Loe

Knoxville homeless folks and others who are unable to fix Thanksgiving meals for themselves will feast together at several area locations Thursday.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe got a behind the scenes look at all the Turkey Day preparations. Food preparations are underway at the Love Kitchen on MLK Junior Avenue to serve nutritious meals to as many as 2,200 folks on Thanksgiving Day.

"If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't have a good Thanksgiving," recipient Charlesetta Fox said.

Charlesetta Fox is among dozens of recipients picking up their holiday meals Thanksgiving Eve. Hundreds more will eat here Thursday afternoon or have hot suppers delivered to their homes.

"when you're helping somebody else that's less fortunate than we are, that's a blessing, and that's what we thrive on, don't we honey? Amen. Yes, honey," Helen Ashe from the Love Kitchen said.

Twins Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner dedicate themselves to this food ministry. For 20 years they've fed those who have difficulty providing their own nourishment.

"And they get very little," Turner said. "And they have to decide whether to buy their medication or buy their food."

Rothchild Catering in West Knoxville will for the 28th year provide a traditional turkey dinner for 1,200 homeless folks at the Knox Area Rescue Ministries "Tent of Hope."

"It's the greatest feeling in the world, knowing that you're going to make somebody happy, even if it's just for a day," said Nathan Rothchild from Rothchild Catering.

Unlike the homeless folks served downtown, these families and individuals do have a place to live. However, here at the Love Kitchen in East Knoxville, money's tight. Many of these people are unemployed, most on welfare, and would otherwise go without a hot Thanksgiving meal.

"It's going to be a happy Thanksgiving. My kids is going to be with me, and thank Helen and Ellen for everything they gave me," Fox said.

Many will give thanks this holiday. The Love Kitchen will serve Thanksgiving dinner from noon until 2 on Thursday and the Knox Area Rescue Ministries will serve it's free meal from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.


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