For many, Thanksgiving Day is spent with friends and family. At Calamari’s, it’s tradition for volunteers to prepare meals for those in need.
“We have the resources to be able to cook, the Mercyhurst prep students to do the food drive, different small businesses in the community donate,” said event organizer Rachel Honard. “It’s really a group effort.”
Honard said she came up with the idea about 10 years ago, after she and her classmates at Mercyhurst Prep went on a mission trip.
She said the event has come a long way.
“I think its just snowballed ever since our first year,” Honard said. “We started with about four hundred meals and since the pandemic especially were up over thirteen hundred a year.”
Conor Amendola, a student from Mercyhurst Prep, said it takes hours of preparations and many volunteers to make this event happen.
“We have so many students behind the scenes this morning opening cans of corn and cranberries,” Amendola said. “Now, they’re bagging dinners and helping us run them out. And then, afterwards, they help with clean up as well.”
Amendola said the event is a long standing tradition students are eager to participate in.
“It’s actuallly competative to sign up, the sign ups go so fast with the shifts students really want to get involved and get out there and its crazy to see the whole community not just students but with faculty staff and parents even coming out to support the thanksgiving dinner.”
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