Huge turnout at Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Salvation Army

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - How many people came to your Thanksgiving dinner? Probably not near the amount at the Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner.

"We're enjoying Thanksgiving with about 2000 of our friends," said volunteer Randy Mulvaney.

They actually estimated serving around 1,600 people, with 400 of those being deliveries to those who couldn't go to the site in Cape Girardeau.

"The Salvation Army is a good place to come for people needing family and a place to go," said Angie Moritz.

Moritz says the annual dinner is needed.

"There's a lot of people, who are hurting, they need a place to go," said Moritz.

"There's a lot of need for it, there's a whole bunch of people that are out of work," said dinner guest Lorrie Dodson.

But the need isn't just for a Thanksgiving meal.

"They come in just to have somebody to talk to," said volunteer Darlene Allen.

"I'm a senior citizen, I'm a veteran, and I have no family, it's me, me myself and I," said dinner guest Jon Selph.

"It's a nice time to sit down and just visit, not be alone," said volunteer Sam Bishop.

While some go to the dinner to not be alone, others choose to bring the whole gang from home.

"My family's also involved," said Allen. "My husband's here, my daughters are here"

"Our daughter was eating out with some friends and we were at home, and we thought this would be a good place to be and help out," said Bishop.

"We've done it for 9 years, we haven't been home 9 years for Thanksgiving," said Mulvaney.

"I think it's a wonderful community get together, and all my grand kids need coats," said Dodson.

Guests could not only take turkey and mashed potatoes with them, but also a free winter coat. It's something Dodson says she's thankful for.

"It just really takes a lot out of your budget when you've got to buy everybody and new coat every year," said Dodson.

The Salvation Army served its first Thanksgiving meal in Cape Girardeau in 1983 for about 200 people. Nowhere near to what they saw this holiday.

"It's like an army, the kitchen staff ends up hating me in the end, but what are you going to do," said Mulvaney.

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