Free dinner helps those in need have holiday meal
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Volunteers served up turkey dinners and smiles for those in need at St. Vincent de Paul annual Thanksgiving lunch.
Diners say the meal helped make their holiday extra special, because without it they wouldn't have a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving.
"It means the world," Virginia Frazer, who is homeless, said. "This is the only place I could go to have this."
"This meal means a great to me because I'm homeless I live on the streets. I don't have no where else to get no food at. I appreciate St. Vincent de Paul," Jesse Wright, diner at St. Vincent de Paul, said.
Michael Acaldo, executive director at St. Vincent de Paul, estimated the charity served around 600 meals on Thursday.
"That is what Thanksgiving is all about serving the poor, the homeless, people who are very vulnerable," Michael Acaldo said.
Guests got full on turkey dinners with all the fixings.For those in need, the food didn't just fill their bellies. It refill's their spirits.
"(It) makes me feel good. Makes me feel good for everybody that they are able to recieve a meal," Rickey Miguez, a homeless veteran, said. "It's heart feeling and you can feel it all around you. "
St. Vincent de Paul officials say serving the big crowd wouldn't work without help of the more than 150 volunteers that came out on Thanksgiving.
"I mean I see all these people giving of their time and talent. They are giving the gift only they can give the gift of themselves. That is how St. Vincent de paul is so successful in serving so many people over the course of the year," Acaldo said.
Carole Cross is one of those volunteers.
"I think it's marvelous, and I'm so privileged that I can be here to help them," Cross said.
Cross said she comes out every year, because she enjoys seeing the smile on guests' faces and listening to their stories.
"They want someone to acknowledge them someone to talk to them," Cross stated. "...To make them feel somebody knows they're there. "
Those in need were treated to a special "bag lunch" style dinner to go after their Thanksgiving, so they would have something to eat later that night.