Big night of preparations to feed Metro hungry

Hope Ministries to host 300, deliver to 2,200

By Jack Miller |

Published 11/25 2015 09:02PM

Updated 11/25 2015 09:02PM

DES MOINES -- Families across Central Iowa are getting ready for tomorrow's holiday and big meal.  And the metro's homeless are too.

Whether you'll be sitting next to your  relatives or next to another homeless person, tomorrow's meal may be the most anticipated of the year.  But for Thursday to even happen, Wednesday had to be day of hard work and incredible thoughtfulness.

Families with means were bringing food to Hope Ministries Cafe in downtown Des Moines.  Dick Williams brought his grand daughters to learn an important lesson.  "Well, everybody needs to be cared for," he said.

Inside Hope Ministries, there's assembly line like precision honed over 100 years of doing this.  They feed about 300 people at their downtown location and deliver another 2,200 meals.  

And the pressure only increases once you get in the kitchen, where they already serve three meals every day of the year.  There's extra meat from about 275 turkeys that's sitting in the fridge.  But it doesn't seem to phas head chef Louis Dawson.  "Initially it was pretty hectic, but each year we get better and better.  So now, it's almost a seamless operation," he said.

The magic created by the volunteers, the staff and the community still surprises Hope Ministries leaders each year.  "So we're very blessed to see lots of families come in," said Kathy Coady, director of development and public communications. "Parents bringing their kids in.  It's a great message I think for them to send their kids.  And it's a great life lesson. It's become a special part of the holidays for a lot of families in this community."

Hope Ministries is 100% privately funded.  No tax dollars are involved.  If you'd ever like to help out, they're always welcoming volunteers.



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