FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) --They are cooking a Thanksgiving meal to feed the homeless and less fortunate on Thursday, and that includes all those left homeless by Hurricane Matthew.
Volunteers say "anyone" who needs a hot meal Thursday is invited to this feast.
For Roland Rochester, cooking more than 200 turkey is a labor of love and thanks.
"I have been here since Monday night," said Rochester, a volunteer.
On Thursday, volunteers plan to hand out more than 4,000 turkey dinners with all the trimmings.
"We got turkey, stuffing mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, pies, cranberry sauce -- a good old Thanksgiving," said volunteer Willie Rochester.
It's called "Operation Turkey." Fayetteville is one of 10 cities and 11 states across the country feeding the homeless and less fortunate.
Volunteers say it's a huge challenge, especially this year.
"With Hurricane Matthew, it increased the need to have a meal," said Venassia Gunter of Operation Turkey. "We have a lot of people in Lumberton that lost a lot of what they had, so here in Fayetteville, we will do 3,000 plates, and in Lumberton, we will do 1,000 plates."
On Wednesday night, the rush was on as volunteers peeled and chopped more than 1,000 pounds of potatoes, opened dozens of cans of yams, and filled thousands of small cups with cranberry sauce.
They will hand out plates at four locations around downtown Fayetteville. They will also deliver to shut-ins -- anyone they say that needs a meal. Despite the long hours the volunteers have put in to making this feast, they wouldn't spend Thanksgiving doing anything else.
"That's what God wants us to do help each other support each other, everybody," Gunter said. "God has a purpose for each of us, and I feel like helping people is my purpose."
The Fayetteville feeding sites include "Spivey Recreation Center" on Old Wilmington Road, right in one of the harder-hit neighborhoods, and at a couple of places on Person Street.
In the meantime, the cooking continues into the wee hours of the morning, when an assembly line of volunteers begins making the plates of food, and we all have a newfound appreciation for our neighbors and community friends this Thanksgiving.
For complete information on all the locations, and a phone number for ordering delivery meals, see the list below:
Mike's Car Wash
Spivey Recreation Center
Old Wilmington Road
Two locations on Person Street
Near the Market House, and by the Greyhound Bus Station.
Sandy Grove Baptist Church
Martin Luther King Drive
Delivery orders can be phoned in to (682) 226-2724.
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