Extended Hands Outreach cooking up 1,000 meals - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Extended Hands Outreach cooking up 1,000 meals

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The planning takes months. The collection lasts for weeks. The cooking requires days.

And just before 5 a.m. Wednesday, the smoke began rising from two large barrel grills in front of the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ in West Palm Beach, kicking off an annual holiday meal for many of the area's less fortunate. This year, organizers say, the need is greater than ever.

"People started calling. We have an emergency food pantry, too," said Shandra Stringer, with Extended Hands Community Outreach which coordinates the feast. "Anytime those numbers increase, you can expect more here, too."

The organization typically serves about 650 meals on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but they expect to hand out more than 1,000 this year with so many families struggling financially.

Organizers begin cooking well before dawn preparing hundreds of pieces of chicken, dozens of turkeys, and thousands of servings of mashed potatoes, collard greens and more.

"People might not have the money, but their hearts are still big," Stringer added. "So they want to come and give their time."

The effort requires the help of more than 100 volunteers, who serve the meal over five hours, starting at 11 a.m.

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