Jacksonville Mayor, Athletes Among Hundreds Serving Homeless Thanksgiving Meal

Nov 23, 2016

The City Rescue Mission’s New Life Inn shelter hosted a Thanksgiving feast Wednesday for Jacksonville’s homeless. Between 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., more than 1,000 people were expected to be fed.

Around 100 volunteers from all over Jacksonville worked to provide the meals. Some even cooked the turkeys over the weekend.

A volunteer holds a plate of food.
Credit Blake Allen

“We are privileged to get to serve what we call our ‘invisible neighbors’ on the street,” said City Rescue Mission Executive Director Penny Kievet. “About 120 turkeys, actually 123 to be exact, were cooked for today.”

Among the volunteers dishing out mashed potatoes, rolls and green beans were members of the Jacksonville Armada, Sharks, and recently named Jumbo Shrimp.

Mayor Lenny Curry and his family also helped. The mayor said he’s grateful to everyone lending a hand.

“It just speaks to the giving spirit of the people and volunteers of Jacksonville, you know? The lights and cameras are here today because it’s Thanksgiving, but these volunteers, many of these volunteers, are doing this year round.”

The University Christian baseball team was also on-hand giving out hundreds of pairs of socks to those who attended the event.

The annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet has been held since the early 80’s.

News intern Blake Allen can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter @BAllenMMJ.