Friendship Inn staff are getting the turkeys ready, chopping carrots, and peeling potatoes as their biggest meal of the year approaches.

Executive director Sandra Kary said meal prep began more than a week in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly for Thanksgiving.

Kary said they are preparing to serve 1,300 to 1,400 people on Thanksgiving Monday.

The influx of volunteers and donations they see during the holiday season is much appreciated, she said.

“It’s the spirit of the season. I think people are really generous, and they’re mindful of folks who don’t have as much as they do. Definitely the spirit of giving is in Thanksgiving.”

Volunteer Ken Roberts said he donates his time simply because he enjoys the people.

“I get a lot more out of volunteering than they get out of my service.”

The Friendship Inn still needs boxed stuffing, frozen or fresh vegetables and desserts such as pies, Kary said.

They are also accepting winter clothing to be given out during the colder months.

Donor Dianne Mamchur said it’s important to have a good warm meal.

“It’s Thanksgiving and people need to eat,” Mamchur said. What does she expect in return?

“Just getting a hug at the door works for me.”

Volunteers are already in order for the Thanksgiving dinner at the Friendship Inn, but donations and volunteers are needed year round, Kary said.

The food bank needs instant formula, whole grain pastas and cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats and beans, 100 per cent fruit juice, soups and stews, and gluten free foods.

Kary said they “couldn’t do what we do without an army of volunteers that come in every day.”