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The Salvation Army is hosting a Thanksgiving Day dinner in Central Florida

Thousands of people turned out at The Salvation Army in downtown Orlando on Thursday for the charity’s annual free Thanksgiving meal. Capt. Ken Chapman said. Volunteers served thousands of people everything from turkey to mashed potatoes to green beans and of course cranberry sauce. One of the new things this year is that the food that is being served has actually been culinary prepared by students at Valencia College. “We got students involved. We have faculties involved. We have staff involved in hospitality. In total, the team cooked 2,000 pounds of turkey and potatoes, 1,500 pounds of green beans and cranberry sauce, and 120 gallons of gravy that will last until lunch is over,” Erdmann said. It’s a gigantic effort that helps ensure that every Thanksgiving, those in need have a place to go and a meal to eat at the Salvation Army in Central Florida because people care and we know that we will be in a good community,” said Capt. Ken Chapman.

Thousands of people turned out at The Salvation Army in downtown Orlando on Thursday to celebrate the charity’s annual free Thanksgiving meal.

“We want our guests walking in off the street to understand that they are welcome and made to feel like family this Thanksgiving day,” said Capt. Ken Chapman.

Volunteers served thousands of people everything from turkey to mashed potatoes to green beans and of course cranberry sauce.

One of the innovations this year is that the food was actually prepared by Valencia College culinary students.

“We got students involved. We got faculty involved. We got staff involved. We had others from our Valencia family wrap the cookies yesterday, so it’s a great team effort,” said Alex Erdmann, Dean of Culinary Arts and Hospitality

In all, the team cooked 2,000 pounds of turkey and potatoes, 1,500 pounds of green beans and cranberry sauce, and 120 gallons of gravy.

“Every 45 minutes we shoot out 2,000 portions of food here, and that’s until the end of lunch,” said Erdmann.

It’s a gargantuan effort that helps ensure those in need have a place and a meal to eat every Thanksgiving.

“I’m grateful to serve as area commander for The Salvation Army in Central Florida because people care about each other and we know we’re going to be a good community,” said Capt. Ken Chapman.

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