Volunteers Prepare for "Everyone Eats"

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COLUMBIA - Dozens of volunteers hustled around a Stephens College kitchen Wednesday to prepare for the "Everyone Eats" Thanksgiving dinner.

Former Columbia First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton has organized the event for the past 14 years. Volunteers expect to cook about 20 turkeys and a dozen hams.

Food donations have been coming into St. Luke's United Methodist Church for the past few weeks. In addition to going toward the dinner, volunteers made food baskets to give out to needy families. The baskets include food such as turkey, dressing, ham and corn.  

Last year, about 2,000 families received food baskets. According to event organizer Bill Sullivan, between 600 and 700 families have picked up baskets this year. Sullivan is a manager at Longhorn Steakhouse, and he has volunteered to cook turkeys for Crayton's event for the past nine years. Volunteers expect to give out 100 more baskets by Thanksgiving.

"We're definitely behind this year than where we were last year," Crayton said. "I'm worried about not having enough."

Despite these concerns, volunteers hope the meal will serve up to 300 more people on Thanksgiving. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Stamper Commons at Stephen's College.