Hundreds of families sat down together for a traditional Thanksgiving meal Friday.
Souls Harbour Rescue Mission held its annual community meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dean Smith Youth Centre on Dewdney Avenue.
The gymnasium was decorated with themed centerpieces, inspiring messages on placemats and seats for around 240 people. In total, between 500-600 people were expected to receive meals.
More than 60 turkeys were donated, along with 300 pounds of potatoes and vegetables. Over 90 volunteers helped setup, serve and cleanup for the meal.
Donna West has volunteered at Souls Harbour meals the last five years.
“Many others don’t have the luxury that we have to go have a meal with a family,” she said, adding she appreciates how Souls Harbour makes people feel welcome.
“We do not clean a table until the last guest has left that table, so they are welcome to sit and visit for as long as they want.”
Deana Struble, marketing manager for Souls Harbour, said the meal is about family — from the volunteers to the guests.
“We have people that come every year to have the meal and they come with family and children and grandparents. They meet people they haven’t seen in a while,” she said.
Serving is underway at the Souls Harbour Rescue Mission #Thanksgiving meal. It’s their last community meal at the Dean Smith Youth Centre on Athol St. as they prepare to move to a new facility just before Christmas #yqr @CJMENews pic.twitter.com/wxEjOvYh6g
— Daniella Ponticelli (@Ms_dponticelli) October 5, 2018
It’s likely the last time Souls Harbour will host a meal at the youth centre, as the mission readies to move into its new building in the 1600 block of Angus Street for Dec. 24.
“We’ve been in this building for a long time and there’s lots of sentimental stories that have happened here, but we’re super excited about being in our new building,” said Deana Struble, marketing manager for Souls Harbour.
“We know that the need is really high here in Regina and we are doing everything we can to support it.”
Struble said even with the large Thanksgiving meal taken care of, Souls Harbour is always in need of food donations.
“Monday to Friday we used to feed about 200, our numbers have gone up to 250 even 300 some nights,” she said, adding winter boots and coats are also wanted for their free clothing store.
“Boots are really important. If you don’t have a good pair of boots, you’re all cold.”