Dozens of Volunteers Prepare Thanksgiving for Needy Folks in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A kitchen in Wilkes-Barre that feeds dozens in need every day is getting a jump on Thanksgiving dinner

Radio Station 98.5 KRZ put out the call for food for the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen on Jackson Street in Wilkes-Barre, and people to help get it ready for Thanksgiving. They got a room full of volunteers, and table after table of turkeys and vegetables.

"This is a great organization. I like to help people out that are less fortunate than we are," Linda Pugliese said.

Some chopped, some peeled, and 8-year-old Cara Shrader from Bear Creek helped pick the meat off turkey carcasses.

"It's slimy. It feels real slimy," Cara said.

This call for volunteers even brought out royalty, like Miss Luzerne County Victoria Vespico with crown on head, sweet potatoes in hand.

"This was strategic because nobody wants to get stuck cutting onions. This was a strategic choice," she laughed.

The people were clearly enjoying helping others and learning something along the way.

"There is no stigma attached to the kitchen and everybody needs to get involved and it's great seeing schools and businesses help out this year," said Rocky Rhodes, 98.5 KRZ radio personality.

"A lot of these are kids, coming for the first time. It just warms my heart so much," said 98.5 KRZ radio personality Lissa.

The numbers are staggering. Not only do they have dozens of volunteers and pounds and pounds of food, what they are doing will help feed hundreds on Thanksgiving Day.

About 300 people will walk through the doors on Thanksgiving and they will deliver another 800 dinners to the elderly and others who can't get out.

"I'm really grateful," said kitchen director Mike Cianciotta. "The amount of stuff we get from people, it keeps us going. We wouldn't survive without it."

Cinciotta says they need every volunteer and every potato, adding it would be impossible to pull off Thanksgiving dinner without them.

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