Friendship Inn prepares annual Easter charity feast

On Monday, more than 80 volunteers expect to prepare, cook and serve a free turkey lunch for more than 1,000 people.

Group plans to serve 60 turkeys, 400 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of carrots

      1 of 0

      An army of workers is busy in the kitchen at the Saskatoon Friendship Inn.

      They're preparing turkeys, potatoes, carrots, salads, deserts and more for the hundreds of hungry people who will be their guests for their traditional Easter meal to be served Monday. 
      The contents of the free paper bag lunch the Friendship Inn gives out to hundreds of kids in Saskatoon, every week. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

      Ken Campbell, the centre's kitchen manager and head chef, says more than 80 volunteers will join him to serve people who arrive for the meal.

      "They'll be waited on hand and foot," Campbell said. 

      Nine-year-old Lexxa Duerr brought her mother along to help with the cooking.

      "I forced my mom to come here," Duerr said. "I wanted to make a change in my life to help other people."

      Campbell said they expect to use at least 60 turkeys, 400 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of carrots in their preparation for the meal. 

      "It's wonderful. It warms my heart to see the people coming in for a hot meal," Campbell said. "The children coming in here, they're so excited with their big happy's just [a] wonderful feeling to be able to give to the community."

      Lexxa Duerr is a small but mighty force in the kitchen. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

      Campbell added he's never sure exactly how many people will come to their doors, however. The Friendship Inn was overwhelmed during their Thanksgiving meal last year, when more than 2,000 people showed up.

      Campbell said many of the people who come in for food are children.

      "Some kids come in with black eyes, dirty clothes, and they're going to school. It brings a tear to my eye," Campbell said.

      Campbell said his kitchen is still a little short on potatoes and a couple of other staples for Monday's free meal. Anyone who would like to donate or volunteer can contact the Friendship Inn.