A Lawrence organization is ready for its annual holiday meal today. About 300 people are expected to be served.
Jerry Collie has a bit of advice before carving 16 turkeys: "You don't do this when you're hungry."
Collie spent Wednesday afternoon carving the birds for today's Thanksgiving dinner and meal delivery, sponsored by the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen.
Today's sit-down meal will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at First Christian Church, 10th and Kentucky.
Organizers say the meal is for anyone who does not want to spend the holiday alone.
About 150 people are expected.
Volunteer drivers also will begin delivering meals about 12:20 p.m. Another 150 meals are expected to be delivered to home-bound residents, said Mary Inzerillo, LINK board chair.
In addition to 16 turkeys, volunteers will dish out and deliver several dozen pounds of potatoes and gravy, about 40 pounds of coleslaw, 24 large cans of green beans, 40 apple and pumpkin pies, eight containers of dessert topping and 400 rolls.
"We don't know exactly how much we have, but it's enough to feed about 300 people," Inzerillo said.
Collie, a butcher for 29 years, deboned the turkeys on Wednesday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1229 Vt. The turkeys are cooked at Don's Steak House each year.
They will be refrigerated overnight and heated for dinner today.
He said the best way to carve a bird is to first take off the legs, thighs and wings.
"Then you can get to the breast easier," he said.
Inzerillo said the dinner, which LINK has held the last 12 years, serves several needs.
"We meet the needs of people who are hungry, people who don't want to be alone and people who want to help others," she said.
About 70 volunteers are delivering and serving meals, she said.
An additional 100 will make pies and other food items at home for the meal.
"It's something you can give back to the community," Collie said.
In addition to Lawrence's meal, a community Thanksgiving dinner will be held for the first time this year in Eudora.
It will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Eudora United Methodist Church, 703 Church.
-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.