CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The need to feed more people during the holidays is on the increase across central Virginia.
The Salvation Army in Charlottesville opened up its doors to the community for anyone who needed a place to go Thursday, November 28.
The organization says it has more people showing up than ever before.
"It's really kind of sad, because a lot of these people come here and they don't have family stuff,” Salvation Army Had Cook Barbara Bellamy said. “So, happy to see them come here and have a hot meal and feel comfortable."
Bellamy runs a tight ship as she rolls out a Thanksgiving dinner fit for a king or queen.
"I've been prepping since Monday. Cooking turkey, ham, peeling potatoes, making fresh yams, stuffing," she said
The head cook has been pulling off this event along with her horde of volunteers for more than 20 years.
"It's great to see some of the same volunteers come every year and help out," Bellamy said.
Derek Brow is a first-time volunteer here in Charlottesville.
"I'm actually very impressed. When I got here a lot of people were already working really hard and got the food prepared. Everyone has a smile on their face and seems happy to be here," Brow said.
He spent the day mashing potatoes and getting all the last minute items together for the big feast.
"It's just really important to give back to the community that you're in. Just have that camaraderie with the volunteers. Every Thanksgiving people are going through different issues, good and bad, so it's important to remember what you're thankful for," the volunteer said.
Bellamy says a number of community organizations donated a majority of the food used for Thursday’s service, and she is grateful for that.