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Volunteers feed the masses on Thanksgiving
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Volunteers feed the masses on Thanksgiving

The Citywide Thanksgiving Dinner fed almost 900 people Thursday in a mammoth operation that took weeks to plan and days of collecting food.

The “controlled chaos” produced 850 to 900 meals for pickup or delivery and some leftovers that were donated to MOHM’s Place, according to coordinator Brenda Moran, who repeated that “many hands make light work.”

It took 1,000 pounds of turkey (40 20-pound birds and 200 pounds of turkey breast meat), 500 pounds of potatoes, 300 boxes of stuffing, 18 steamer pans of green bean casserole, four large stock pots full of “wonderfully rich” gravy, 118 homemade pumpkin pies, 800-plus Rotella’s dinner rolls, 800-plus cartons of milk and an army of volunteers, she said.

Moran made special mention of Lou Palacio, manager of Council Bluffs Country Club and head chef; Bill, his employee, who ran the kitchen and kept all of the food hot and ready to go; the Jares/Morgan, Sheffield and Tietsort families, who “served” the meals; and volunteers who packed the meals and ran them out to the cars; and a caravan of drivers who delivered meals all over the city.

“We all needed to troubleshoot and reconsider how things were happening at a pretty hectic pace. However, it all seemed to work out in the end — to be honest, it usually does — and that is due in very large part to the good-hearted people who arrive willing to help in whatever way possible to bring a hot homemade meal to others,” she said.

Moran, who has served as coordinator for 20 years, had given warning that this would be her last year organizing the event, but no doubt she will help out again next year in some capacity.

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