Food & Friends, a D.C.-based nonprofit, has made around 800 turkeys for families facing serious illness this Thanksgiving, with volunteers feeding more than 4,000 people.
Early Thursday morning, dozens of volunteers feverishly packed up 8,520 pounds of turkey, 94 gallons of gravy and thousands of pounds of roasted potatoes and cornbread stuffing.
Food & Friends has been working on this day for the entire week, according to its executive chef, Rasheed Abdurrahman.
“So we start on Sunday and we usually break it up. There’s about almost 800 turkeys that we cook. So we break it into three different days and we just cook turkeys all day. We have maybe six ovens and we just rotate turkeys in and out all day,” Abdurrahman said.
More than 200 delivery volunteers will pick up all that food at the Fort Totten Metro parking lot and deliver it to hundreds of families all across the region.
The organization began in D.C. in 1988 amid the AIDS crisis as a way to feed people who had lost connections to friends and family.
Now the organization has a much broader scope.
“Really, any serious illness that precludes you from cooking and shopping on your own — we serve people with cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, heart failure. We really took what we learned from those early days and expanded it to take care of a lot of people in need,” said Carrie Stoltzfus, executive director of Food & Friends.
Stoltzfus told WTOP that this population has been especially hard-hit during the pandemic.
“These are folks who are living with, you know, those underlying health issues that you’ve heard about that make you more vulnerable to COVID. So it’s been very difficult for them.”
Food & Friends is looking to deliver 1.34 million medically tailored meals in 2022.
To get involved, visit the organization’s website.