Union Gospel Mission makes sure people in need have Thanksgiving meals on their plates

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A Thanksgiving dinner for 1,500 people is a meal that takes weeks to prepare.

And the team at Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul says this year the need is greater than usual.

James Green is the general manager of food services for Union Gospel Mission and the mastermind behind Thursday’s meal. He says it’s made with a lot of love and extra empathy this year.

“Our numbers are higher and we’re just trying to find a way through inflation to continue to serve that many people,” Green said.

Not only are they serving more people, but the cost to put the meal on is up, too.

“A normal invoice went from $3,000 to $5,000 and it’s the same amount (of food),” Green said.

Across the Twin Cities, people are feeling the strain of inflation.

Marcus Ksanowski has been at Union Gospel Mission for the past 10 months.

“Never expected to be here, a homeless shelter,” Ksanowski said.

Times have been hard, but he’s working toward a better life. He says a warm meal this Thanksgiving makes all the difference.

“I’m loved and cared about by a complete stranger,” Ksanowski said.

Union Gospel Mission says none of this would be possible without the more than 500 volunteers who pitched in to make this meal a reality.

The organization says it’s in need of volunteers year-round. Information on how to get involved is available on Union Gospel Mission’s website.