Turkey, mashed potatoes and a delicious stuffing were on the menu as the St. Vincent de Paul Society served up its 30th annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday at the Sacred Heart Church.
Bernie Goold, president of the St. Vincent society, said they filled 856 plates with poultry from 26 extra large turkeys, 300 pounds of ham and 300 pounds of potatoes all cooked by chef Ron Christian and his students in the College of New Caledonia's professional cook program.
"They cooked them all up for us as well as making a beautiful stuffing and a copious amount of gravy for the dinner," said Goold. "There's a little bit leftover but not much."
It was the sixth year Christian spent Thanksgiving Sunday cooking for the less fortunate members of the Prince George community.
"We have lots of families that come that can not afford to provide a turkey dinner for themselves and also they meet up with friends and there's a lot of good feelings," said Goold. "It builds community for those who wouldn't have anywhere else to go."
Goold said she salutes the more than 50 people who came out to help serve and clean up.
"We just have a really diverse group of people who come and share four or five hours of their time so it'll be better for others," said Goold. "It bridges the gap and the majority of them really have a good experience."
She said Mother Nature was also kind to them this year.
"We were truly blessed to have had such a beautiful day weather-wise, it makes such a difference when young families have to walk to get here," said Goold.
The dinner also served as a kickoff for Homeless Action Week which is set up to bring an awareness to the public of the problems caused by homelessness in the community, especially since the face of poverty can include seniors and the working poor - not just people who live on the street.
Today, the various agencies involved with helping families and people in need will get together in the basement of the legion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where anyone who needs to talk or needs advice is welcome to stop by.
"Many of them would be intimidated to walk into an agency and ask for help or find out what they really do," said Goold.
Wednesday the Native Friendship Centre is hosting a pancake breakfast from 8-9 a.m.
St. Vincent de Paul also provides meals at Christmas and Easter and is preparing to start its annual collection of food and toys for Christmas hampers which are delivered to needy families. Donations can be dropped off at the St. Vincent drop-in centre at 1220 2nd Ave., starting in mid-October.