BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - St. Vincent de Paul is the only community kitchen that serves 365 days a year insuring that those in needed will not go hungry. But Thanksgiving Day is always extra special. The Michael Acaldo with St. Vincent de Paul visited with WAFB about that special day.
"This is it. This is where it all happens. You know it's amazing," said Michael. "For all the many years we've been doing Thanksgiving dinner here at St. Vincent de Paul, going back to 1982. This room is much bigger than our first dining room that could only seat ten people! Now we can seat 120 people."
Acaldo said on Thanksgiving they typically serve anywhere from 500 to 550 people, starting at 11:30 a.m. and not stopping until the line is gone. He said that's usually around 1 p.m.
What's the menu? Acaldo said they serve "turkey, green beans, yams, corn bread stuffing and all the regular fixin's." which is made possible by donations from the Baton Rouge community. Ms. Denise is the dining room and food services director. She helps other prepare the turkeys for Thursday. This year, 109 turkeys were donated by B'nai Israel Synagogue, who has donated turkeys for the last several years.
"It's just absolutely amazing Johnny A!" Michael said.
WAFB surprised Acaldo with our special Thanksgiving Day Hand It On contribution!
"Fantastic!" Michael said.
I told Michael I realized he may have already purchased everything.
"No, actually we haven't! No? Yams and green beans! And that's where these $300 are gonna go to yams and green beans," said Michael.
Acaldo walked back to the kitchen to share the good news with Ms. Denise who's been stressing about needing more yams and green beans.
"Look at what we got?" Michael shared the $300 with Ms. Denise.
"$300. That'll buy some green beans and yams!" said Michael. "That's it! That's it! Something to be joyful for, and aren't we just so thankful!"
"Thank you so much, "Ms. Denise exclaimed.
In addition to a hot meal, St. Vincent de Paul will also have a store set up on Thanksgiving Day offering items like coats, gloves, belts and other items to help those in need.