Volunteers Dish Out Holiday Meals for Less Fortunate

Volunteers Dish Out Holiday Meals for Less Fortunate

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Courtney Orton reportingVolunteers spent this Thanksgiving dishing out holiday meals for the less fortunate like the traditional spread at the Salvation Army.

It fed more than 600 people who might not have been able to find a Thanksgiving meal otherwise.

That was one of many such events where volunteers become heroes for a day.

Volunteers Dish Out Holiday Meals for Less Fortunate

A Thanksgiving feast wouldn't be complete without pumpkin pie, but this thanksgiving feast wouldn't be complete without the hundreds of volunteers giving of their time.

Volunteers, both young and old, joined forces to make this meal memorable for those without a home.

Some even joined forces, like a father son duo, to get stuffing from one place to another. But volunteers got down to business doing a little bit of everything.

Volunteer Paul Cisneros said, "I helped put out tables and chairs and just kinda putting the food in there so they can get prepared for the day."

Steve Larson, with the Salt Lake City Mission, said, "It's a big long process, takes a lot of work, but once it gets going it's easy after that."

And once they got prepared, they served Thanksgiving dinner to about 2,000 people. Cisneros said, "You know, I just thought I'd come out and do something for some people who are less fortunate than I am, and I feel pretty good about it."

Jim Mee is one of those people giving back today; he was homeless himself years ago. He said, "At one time I was. It's a great thing to have happening, and it makes you feel better about yourself and want to get out of that situation."

Volunteers Dish Out Holiday Meals for Less Fortunate

"The Mission really helped me out, so I'm just giving back," said Larson.

Others had an important message of hope. Rick Nelson, with the Salt Lake City Mission, said, "We try to let them know that next year is going to be a little better if they just turn it around."

Everyone is just happy to help. Volunteer Lia Pretorius said, "It's nice that there's so many people who want to do it."

Volunteers for Eagle Ranch Ministries donated, cooked and passed out turkey dinners under the 500 South freeway viaduct in Salt Lake City.

Now here are a few Thanksgiving Day facts and figures. The first Thanksgiving feast was held in 1621, but the official government holiday was not created until 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.

Today, 272 million turkeys are being consumed in the United States. That's 4 percent more than last year and more than 7 billion pounds and $3 billion worth of turkey.

And did you know that all that talk about turkey making you sleepy is mostly myth?

The meat does contain a sleep-inducing amino acid called tryptophan. But not nearly enough of it reaches your brain to have any effect.

Researchers at a New Jersey sleep center say it's more probably holiday stress, travel and a lot of food and alcohol that tend to make people sleepy this time of year.

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