Local Shelters To Serve Up Hundreds Of Thanksgiving Meals

By Anne Marshall

(LOUISVILLE) -- Families across Kentuckiana were preparing for big holiday feasts Wednesday, and for those who are having a tough time this holiday season, organizations like the Wayside Christian Mission and Salvation Army will have holiday meals for those with no place to go. As WAVE 3's Anne Marshall reports, the Salvation Army is doing more than just feeding the homeless.

Sullivan University students were helping out Wednesday so hundreds can help themselves on Thanksgiving.

"It's like 30 turkeys or something like that," says one worker. It's enough food to feed an army, and it's being prepared by one too.

Some workers preparing the Thanksgiving dinner for 500 at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope are residents, like McNeal Peterson.

"I've been cooking for years," Peterson says. "I baked at Kroger for three years and come from a large family so I've always been around the kitchen."

And this year he's being formally trained in culinary arts, thanks to a 10-week program started at the shelter about a year ago by Chef Timothy Tucker.

"A lot of people in the shelter, they want to help," Tucker says. "They don't want to be in the situation they are in.

Tucker's had about 40 students in the past year, and nearly half have graduated. He says the goal is to get them in a job and out of homelessness.

Peterson is on his way. "I'm looking forward to starting an internship at the Brown (hotel)," he says, "where I can get back on my feet and move on."

So for now students are looking forward to tomorrow, but staying focused on the months ahead. Says Peterson: "I'd like to become a cook one day, I'd like to be a chef."

The Salvation Army's culinary program partners with Sullivan University and the American Culinary Federation.

Chef Timothy Tucker hopes to spread the program to Salvation Army centers across the country.

Online Reporter: Anne Marshall

Online Producer: Michael Dever