It will take 35 turkeys, tons of potatoes and a few dozen pies to serve all of Dianne Morgan's Thanksgiving guests this year.
"We're expecting about 250 people," said Morgan, coordinator of the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, which will offer a holiday meal to the city's poor and homeless - and all others who wish to participate - on Thursday.
The doors at LINK's kitchen, 221 W. 10th St., will open at noon Thursday, with the meal served between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. More than 30 volunteers will serve the feast; singing and other entertainment will be provided.
And, of course, there will be lots of food.
"I know that we're doing 35 turkeys and the fixings to go with them - potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cornbread, pies, and cold drinks and hot drinks and salad," Morgan said.
The food is donated by local churches.
"It provides not only a nourishing meal, but a festive atmosphere, safe atmosphere, for families and individuals to come for dinner," Morgan said.
When Thanksgiving is over, social service agencies will look ahead to serving families in need during the rest of the holidays.
To donate to the "Holiday Bureau" program, contact the following social service agencies: ¢ Ballard Center, 842-0729. ¢ Douglas County Senior Services, 842-6976. ¢ Eckan, 841-3357. ¢ Pelathe, 841-7202. ¢ Penn House, 842-0440. ¢ Salvation Army, 843-4188.
Paul Hunt, director of resources at the Ballard Center, said Wednesday his agency had already taken 126 applications from needy families interested in receiving assistance through the "Holiday Bureau," which also includes ECKAN, Penn House, Salvation Army, Pelathe Community Resource Center and Douglas County Senior Services.
The program allows families to list their needs - one clothing item and one gift item - which are then provided by donors in the community.
"So far, just this site, I've taken 126 applications," Hunt said. "Penn House picked up 200. The others, I can't say, but it's huge this year. Last year (Ballard) didn't crash 100 applications until December."
The bureau will continue to take applications through the beginning of December, Hunt said. But the large number already received means it will be more difficult to assure help.
"I am in desperate need of donors," Hunt said.
Donors will have until Dec. 12 to buy the requested items and make the delivery to the social service agency, he said.