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Feeding those in need during Thanksgiving

Posted at 2:42 PM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 14:42:52-05

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, you have less than 24 hours and counting to get your turkey and fixins' ready!

That also means local organizations are making the final push to prepare meals for those in need.

WPTV visited some places working overtime to help hungry families.

Jakya Woods has come a long way from her last thanksgiving.

"Last year this time, I was pregnant. I was in a shelter. It's a big difference. A big 360," she said.

But now, she has her kids and a new outlook on life.

"I''m in school, I graduate next month," she said proudly.

Her friend Chrisalyn Rivera is celebrating her first thanksgiving without her mom.

"My mama just passed away two months ago so this actually means something to me to be amongst people. To be with family," she said. "I know she's watching over me."

They're both part of the Lord's Place annual thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday. The organization served 300 formerly homeless men, women and children who are now living at the West Palm Beach campus.

"We believe that everyone deserves a better chance, a better future," said Diana Stanley, CEO of the Lord's Place. "It's all of us coming together and giving thanks for great blessings that we have."

The food was prepared by Joshua's Catering, which included some cooks who were also previously homeless and are now learning culinary skills for future job placement.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for them to showcase the talents that they've learned," said Stanley.

Big Heart Brigade also wrapped up a massive operation on Tuesday. They just finished cooking up 50,000 meals for families in need, which includes over 23,000 pounds of green beans.

"1,700 thanksgiving birds, that's about 22 pounds a piece," said Bryon Scholz, lead volunteer for the Big Heart Brigade.

And it takes a force of 5,000 volunteers to make this even happen.

"It takes six months or more of planning to actually make this week be pulled off," said Scholz. "We're coming up on our 26th year of doing this and believe me it was not like this in the beginning, the beginning was 300 meals."

On Wednesday, clean up began and volunteers are now preparing for a good night's rest before thousands of these meals are shipped out for thanksgiving.

"Serving is good for the heart, serving is good for the soul," said Scholz. "Ss god's people, we're way too blessed to be stressed so we just need to let it go and enjoy what we have."