NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet has been a tradition for years on the day before Thanksgiving.

The Mission prepared the traditional Thanksgiving meal for those in need on Wednesday morning. The Nashville Rescue Mission plans to serve 4,000 meals the next two days.

“This kind of feels like the holidays and to have a good homestyle meal hits the spot,” said Shaekia Jefferson, whose family has received help from the Nashville Rescue Mission the last few months.

The Jeffersons are just one of the 800 people who will receive a Thanksgiving meal. She said she’s grateful for the meal they provided.

“It could be worse, so you know to have a roof somewhere to take care of your kids and feed them. I mean, I’m very thankful and blessed to know that this exists,” said Jefferson.

There’s a lot of preparation that goes into serving thousands. The organization fried 500 turkeys on Tuesday with the help of volunteers.

Wednesday’s menu included the traditional Thanksgiving favorites like turkey and gravy, dressing, string beans and mash potatoes, plus a desert.

“It’s a lot of meals and a lot of need, but a lot of service and a lot of committed people doing it,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

Cooper fixed plates along the serving line. He said it’s good to have organizations like the Nashville Rescue Mission to address the needs within the community.

“Nashville has helped 2,000 people with homelessness within the last year. That’s a big number but clearly there’s more to be done,” said Cooper. “We can double what we’re doing, but we’re going to need to double it again and stay focused on the community that we need to serve.”

Serving the Thanksgiving dinner comes from the host of volunteers expected for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a way they give thanks.

“It’s wonderful seeing the Nashville community come together both in donations or funding as well as volunteer hours to make Thanksgiving so wonderful for those that are homeless and poor,” said Glenn Cranfield, President and CEO of Nashville Rescue Mission.

Nashville Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Day lunch will begin at noon and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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