HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Ever wondered what it takes to feed 1,000 people a full Thanksgiving meal? The Washington Park Homeowners and Community Enhancement Collaboration Inc. (CEC) for the 14th year hosted a free Thanksgiving luncheon Tuesday, Nov. 19 for that many people.
Nadine McCrea, founder/CEO of CEC cooked a feast with all the traditional trimmings: 1,000 pounds of turkey, 400 pounds of ham, 200 pounds of chicken, 30 pounds of meatballs, 24 pans yellow rice, 20 pans of collard greens, 50 pans of string beans, six pans of corn, 15 pans of mashed potatoes, 10 pans of dressing, 10 pounds of cranberry sauce, 50 pounds of gravy, 50 pans of southern cornbread, 225 gallons (of different flavors) block captain beverages, 32 sweet potato pies, and more than 100 cakes or more of all kinds.
“This is CEC’s 14th year involved with this event and I think it is a great way to help give back and to serve everyone who walks through the door a happy Thanksgiving meal. This is all about teamwork,” McCrea said. “It is a pleasure to see many people return year after year to enjoy this day with us. To have a volunteer force of more than 30 volunteers, the Hollywood Police Department and city/county officials, serving the meal in an efficient manner, we fed over 1,000 community residents at the luncheon.”
Partners who helped with the Thanksgiving lunch include Johnson & Wales University under the leadership of Chef Jim Sturgeon, Hollywood Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts, Molina
Helathcare, Hollywood Kia, Mary Jane, Peter Bober, Anthony Girsby, Catherine Evanhoff, Brenda Samuels, Dr. Ted Berger, Cindy Abraham, Ulyses McCrea and Marika Guyton.
In addition to the meal, CEC also operates a food pantry, feeding more than 200 families per week and has been collecting turkeys, ham and chicken to provide for its preregistered needy families. Those families will receive about 500 turkeys, chicken, ham, and/or pot roast.
“It has been a long time goal of the group to not only supply a meal, but also give our clients a care package,” said McCrea.
The turkey luncheon giveaway is just one of many programs that CEC has developed. It also has the following programs: back to school, job training, summer youth employment, senior employment, volunteer and partner awards, referrals to other agencies, clothing drive, food pantry, youth crime watch, volunteer services, health fair, computer skills training, toy drives, National Night Out, bicycle to work program, Taste of Washington Park, Adopt-A House and a program that donates blankets to sick children at Washington Park Community Center and the homeless.
CEC is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit committed to providing not only meals, but encouragement, support, and above all hope to citizens of Hollywood and surrounding communities struggling through these tough economic times.
For more information, call CEC, 954.987.0625 or visit website at cecwashpark.org
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIKA GUYTON
FOOD GALORE: About 1,000 pounds of turkey and all the trimmings were served to residents and others who attended the Washington Park Homeowners and Community Enhancement Collaboration lunch.