TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – The Salvation Army in Tupelo has opened its doors to the community on Thanksgiving for more than two decades, offering a warm meal and fellowship.
Preparation to feed up to 4,000 people begins weeks in advance, and that includes the dressing.
You may have heard the expression, too many cooks in the kitchen. That’s not the case when it comes to getting ready for the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
“I just brought my ingredients this morning, and they needed help, so here I am,” said Charlotte Brownlee.
Every stir is a labor of love.
“You take pieces and parts to make a dressing for people who need a meal or even the fellowship,” said Martha Bland.
Volunteers will prepare 60 pans of dressing in advance. And it’s all down to a science.
“So many bags of cornbread, so many bags of bread, even the spices are measured,” said Marguerite Johnson.
Johnson has volunteered for years. She remembers the days before the recipe.
“It used to be a hit and miss,” she continued. “We got tired of tasting to see if it was okay.”
Members of the Women's Auxiliary prepare the individual ingredients needed for the dressing in advance, such as the cornbread and cooking onions.
“I have been doing this for years. I always wanted to be on this particular team,” Johnson said.
Volunteers will also be on hand Thanksgiving Day at the Salvation Army on Carnation Street in Tupelo, beginning at 6 a.m. to debone the turkey. Doors open to the community at 10:30 a.m.