FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The Salvation Army in Fort Smith is getting ready for its annual Thanksgiving meal and organizers are expecting to serve around 500 turkey dinners.
“I think there's a need in Fort Smith and all over the country that we need to fill, and I'm blessed to be able to have that option to be able to help people,” said Debbie Hewett.
On Tuesday (Nov. 22), Hewett, who is a nurse at Mercy Hospital, and a group from the hospital dropped off food to the Salvation Army. All of it will be served to families in need this Thanksgiving.
“This morning I went into a meeting, said that we were low on donations,” she said, “By noon this was all in my car.”
Items like desserts, green beans, corn and sweet potatoes were sorted ahead of the big day, said Johnny Poff with the Salvation Army. He said most of the food they cook on the holiday is donated.
“We have anywhere from 30 to 40 turkeys that have to be cooked,” he said.
The Salvation Army normally serves around 100 meals on any given day.
“We’ll do probably 500 meals here on Thanksgiving and out of that, about 100 of those will be taken out in the community and about 400 will be served right here in this building,” Poff said.
There will be three different groups of volunteers helping on Thanksgiving Day as meals are served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then, the kitchen will be cleaned for regular dinner service at 6 p.m.
“The greatest winning for me is the smile on children's faces on Thanksgiving and then again at Christmastime when we do it again,” Poff said.
The Salvation Army in Fort Smith is low on desserts, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk and butter. If you’d like to drop off a donation, call them at (479)-783-6145.
The Salvation Army Emergency Shelters in Bentonville and Fayetteville will also serve Thanksgiving lunch. Meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Fayetteville. In Bentonville, meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.