PHOENIX - "We got 2,000 pounds of turkey, so if you think about it, that’s about 300 whole turkeys, 1,500 pounds of stuffing, 1,800 pounds of potatoes -- which is about 25 cases of potatoes -- 1,200 pounds of vegetables," Chef Patrick Kehler said.
Executive chef Patrick Kehler says cooking Thanksgiving dinner for more than 3,000 people is a labor of love. The chef started prepping his kitchen at the Phoenix Convention Center six days ago.
One-thousand meals will be served inside the makeshift dining room.
"If you have been around downtown, you know there are a lot of homeless on the streets -- you can see it a lot of them living in their cars -- and so this community Thanksgiving dinner gives them a place to come they can have worth," Major David Yardley said.
Major Yardley says the Thanksgiving feast is for everyone. In addition to the 1,000 people who will enjoy a meal served at the convention center, another 3,900 will eat a meal packed by one of the dozens of volunteers -- some of whom are here for the first time, others for years now.
"Just to help Thanksgiving, be helpful, show gratitude," one volunteer said.
"I’ve seen the amount of people that come needing a place to go [for] food," another volunteer said. "It’s not only rewarding, but you’re helping them out, so I like being here."
Chef Kehler and his crew, the volunteers and the workers at the Salvation Army are all happy to put a smile on so many faces this Thanksgiving.