Hundreds expected to receive meals in Thanksgiving tradition
COLUMBIA - Dozens of turkeys were cooked Wednesday in preparation for a community meal Thanksgiving day.
This marks the 18th year of Almeta Crayton's Community Programs "Everybody Eats." A full Thanksgiving meal will be available to guests at Stamper Commons on the Stephens College campus. Organizers say they are expecting to serve as many as 550 meals.
Volunteers spent the day on Wednesday in preparation for the large crowd. Head Chef Bill Sullivan said he prepared 59 turkeys and 11 hams.
"I do use Alemeta's recipe for the hams. She used to use, she'd take brown sugar, mustard, just regular mustard, and coca-cola and mix them together and then lather that on the hams," Sullivan said. "That was a glaze she always like to use. That was her favorite recipe."
Sullivan first got involved with the event 15 years ago. At the time Crayton was cooking in a church basement. Sullivan introduced her to the much larger kitchens at Stamper Commons, where he worked at the time. He said what is most rewarding is seeing people excited to give back to their community.
"People see all the food and all the generosity being given out and I think they generally feel good about it," Sullivan said. "And I think the same thing with the volunteers behind the line helping out. They generally feel good about doing what they're doing, helping out in their community."
Almeta Crayton was on the Columbia City Council from 1999 to 2008. She passed away in 2013.