Thousands of Utahns enjoy a Thanksgiving feast


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Last night the EnergySolutions Arena was filled with screaming fans and professional ball players.

Today it was filled with Utah's homeless, 600 pounds of turkey, 60 gallons of gravy, 250 pounds of stuffing and 300 pounds of potatoes.

Jay said, "The turkey was succulent."

"This is great because I don't have family here," said Patricia Benjiman.

Amanda Harpring, wife of Matt from the Utah Jazz, and other Jazz players' wives spent the afternoon serving a Thanksgiving feast to Utah's less fortunate. Amanda Harpring said, "It's a good way to start off the holiday season."

Thousands of Utahns enjoy a Thanksgiving feast

Mark Tanner said, "I'm eating today the best thing in the world. Thank you very much. Mash potatoes, gravy, I got it going on!"

Greg Miller, with the Larry H. Miller Group, said, "Many people are going hungry. It's a great way to give them satisfaction and warmth."

For 10 years the Utah Jazz has hosted this Thanksgiving meal, and Deron Williams' Point of Hope Foundation donated half the food. Amy Williams said, "Our entire family is here: Deron's cousin, our daughter, his grandma is here."

And if folks couldn't get to the EnergySolutions Arena, there was another place cooking up hot meals. George Sproul with the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake said, "We do this every Thanksgiving for the homeless and the needy."

Thousands of Utahns enjoy a Thanksgiving feast

The turkey and trimmings at the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake has all been donated by the community. Here volunteers expect to serve 1,200 people.

At the Energy Solutions Arena, they are expected to serve 3,000. Jay said, "I don't know how anyone could come here and not be happy."

It's not just the folks filling up who are happy, but the volunteers too. Amy Williams said, "This is real Thanksgiving, giving to other people."

After the meal at both the Rescue Mission and at the EnergySolutions Arena, diners were given clothing and personal care items.

The Christian Life Center at 1041 N. Redwood Rd will serve dinner on Thanksgiving day between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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