Feast of Hope will provide hot meals to those in need this Thanksgiving

As of Wednesday morning, volunteers had already roasted and carved 21 turkeys, broken down 20 hams, and cooked a whopping six gallons of green beans
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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WILMINGTON and PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Feast of Hope is being hosted by Heide Trask High School in conjunction with Northside Church in Wilmington to provide Thanksgiving meals to people in need.

Burners at the Northside Church kitchen have been hot all week. Having an early start is key when you plan to include hundreds of families in your Thanksgiving meal.

This year marks the second year of the Feast of Hope, and faced with the additional need, organizers doubled down on their mission.

“It was quite a bit to do last year, I thought, only doing 500 meals,” laughed kitchen supervisor Andy Pettigrew. “To do 1,000 meals seemed kinda overwhelming at first but we have had a lot more volunteers than last year.”

As of Wednesday morning, volunteers had already roasted and carved 21 turkeys, broken down 20 hams, cooked a whopping six gallons of green beans and bagged countless individual servings of dessert.

“A lot of hands, a lot of ovens, and quite a bit of time,” explained Pettigrew.

The sheer size of the feast is just one obstacle. Leaders like Aja Winstead also had to overcome supply chain challenges this year, struggling to get critical ingredients to the kitchen in the first place.

“This year was more challenging than last year to get food. There were so many limitations on how many things we could get, like turkeys — two per order, and things you wouldn’t think of like Styrofoam plates and serving trays,” said Aja Winstead, volunteer director of missions. “It all worked out and we’re happy to give those meals to the families.”

They were so successful at finding ingredients, they were able to reach out to neighboring churches also cooking Thanksgiving meals and share hard to get items, like dinner rolls.

Its taken months of planning, and the handiwork of 100 volunteers to bring care packages and hot meals to the people who need it most this Thanksgiving, yet before a single plate has even been served, staff are already dreaming up the next year’s spread.

“After how its gone this year, we cant help but try to up our game next year and maybe do more,” said Pettigrew.

Meals will be served from 9 a.m. - noon at Northside Church, 2501 N. College Rd, and from 11 a.m. - noon at Trask High School, 14328 State Hwy 210, Rocky Point.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a hot meal this Thanksgiving, the Feast of Hope, register here now to place your order. A delivery service is also available.

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