PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Waterfront Rescue Mission plans to feed 5,000 meals to the homeless and food insecure this holiday season.
About 2,500 of those meals will be served Thursday for Thanksgiving. Volunteers at the Waterfront worked hard this week to prepare more than 200 turkeys and sides for Pensacola residents.
Angie Ishee, Executive Vice President at Waterfront Rescue Mission thanked the Pensacola community for their help in making this year’s Thanksgiving feast possible.
“Waterfront could not provide a feast of this magnitude, the feeding of the 5,000, if it weren’t for this community coming alongside us,” Ishee said.
For Thanksgiving, volunteers will plate 2,500 meals that include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dessert and more.
“It’s just going to thrill all of the people who are with us who might not otherwise have a hearty feast on Thanksgiving Day,” Ishee said.
Many of those meals will be given out at Hollice T. Williams Park, where hundreds of the homeless gather and live in Pensacola.
Waterfront client Scott Douglas told WKRG News 5 that he experienced homelessness before he staying at the shelter.
“After the last hurricane, I was in Mississippi working and the hurricane destroyed the dwelling I was staying in and left me homeless,” Douglas said.
Douglas cooks meals for others who come into the shelter every day, getting training he can use in the work force. On Tuesday morning, he said he had cooked 13 turkeys overnight.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “It puts a smile on my face.”
Douglas said helping serve the homeless warm meals on Thanksgiving makes him emotional, especially knowing what being homeless feels like.
“For me, it was one of the most horrific experiences I’ve been through,” Douglas said. “I think about it every day, all the time, what I’m able to do with God’s blessing to provide the food to these people.”
Douglas said he hopes next Thanksgiving he has a home of his own. He credits Waterfront Rescue Mission for pushing him toward that goal.
“They just don’t abandon you when you’re done with a program,” he said. “They’re with you through the whole process.”