Chicago volunteers prep 2,000 Thanksgiving Day meals for those in need

It was a busy day for volunteers in West Humboldt Park as they prepped 2,000 Thanksgiving Day meals for the hungry.

Normally, that food would be served at a buffet on Thanksgiving Day. But these meals are being delivered instead.

In years past on Thanksgiving Day, you could get a free sit-down meal inside the Salvation Army Freedom Center. However, this year, because of the pandemic, the process will be a little bit different. But the purpose remains the same.

“We want people to know...somebody cares,” said Major Nancy Powers, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Salvation Army in West Humboldt Park will distribute 2,000 free meals to anyone homeless or hungry in the city.

“It's a terribly depressing season for many, many people, and we don't want people to feel that way. We want people to feel like they're loved,” Powers said.

All of the food was donated by Levy Restaurants -- based in Chicago -- and whipped up from scratch by Salvation Army chefs.

“Especially during these times with COVID, it's been a challenge, but we want to make sure that these people have a great thanksgiving meal,” said Robin Rosenberg, Vice President of Chef de Cuisine and Levy Restaurants.

Pickup will be contact-free in the parking lot of the Freedom Center from 11 am to 1 pm. There will also be a mobile unit traveling throughout the city with warm meals for those on the street.

“The nice, hot, juicy turkey is just one sign that somebody cares about them,” Powers said.

If you want to pick up more than one meal, you can, but will need to bring documentation of the number of people in your home. A family photo would work.