Local News

Salvation Army's 'Operation Turkey' preps Thanksgiving meals for Cumberland needy

Posted November 21, 2018 5:35 p.m. EST

— Several Salvation Army volunteers gathered Wednesday in Fayetteville to prep Thanksgiving Day meals for those in need.

Organizers of this year's Operation Turkey aim to serve 10,000 people, a big increase over the 3,800 people who participated in the event last year.

The event will include a full Thanksgiving meal that has been prepped with help from countless volunteers.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg's 3rd Brigade Combat Team and little ones from around town have joined efforts to make this year's event happen.

The Salvation Army's dining room has been converted into an assembly line of love, where ham was sliced and sweet potatoes placed in silver pans.

Countless cans of cranberry sauce stand tall.

And more than 500 turkeys, donated by Publix, have been thawed, prepped and ready for the grill.

Venassia Gunter is the organizer in charge of getting the meals ready.

"We have green beans (and) we're doing stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy," she said. "So, we're putting love into the meal that we're fixing. So, it's like when you go to your grandmother's house or you're visiting your mother. It'll be a home cooked meal from the heart."

The army of volunteers expect to be preparing the meals until about midnight Thursday.