Nearly 300 holiday meals were served at an early Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 27 at the Port Angeles Salvation Army.
Volunteers prepared 38 turkeys, 18 gallons of mashed potatoes and 13 gallons of gravy for 285 people who were in need or who have made community dinners part of their holiday tradition, organizers said.
“We see a little bit of everybody,” said Maj. Ron Wehnau, who heads the Port Angeles Salvation Army with his wife, Barbara.
John Yeo of Sequim attended the Salvation Army feast alone Wednesday because the painter he is working with declined his invitation.
He also left his wallet at home, he said.
“I read in the paper about various dinners being served at various places and I said well, I’m part of the public, too,” Yeo said.
Ron Wehnau said the Salvation Army planned for a 50 percent increase in attendance because the Thanksgiving Day feast at the Queen of Angles Catholic Church was canceled this year.
“We’ve cooked for 400, but we planned for about 300 compared to the 200 we had last year,” Wehnau said before the meal began. “We can handle 400 if it comes to that.”
The Salvation Army at 206 S. Peabody St. typically serves those who are homeless or couch surfing and seniors who enjoy the camaraderie, Wehnau said.
“For some folks, this is just a tradition,” he added.