More than 1,000 get free Thanksgiving meal

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (via WOOD TV 8) — Harvey King has been homeless in Grand Rapids for about six weeks.

"Getting on my feet, (that's) what's going to be the problem," King told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.

For now, he has found a place a stay and a warm meal thanks to Mel Trotter Ministries. This Thanksgiving, he was just one of hundreds of people who got a free meal at DeVos Place Convention Center downtown thanks to the organization.

It's a tradition that began in the late 1990s: food for hundreds of people in need, including the homeless, those living in poverty and people who might otherwise go without. It was big back then and it's still a huge event today, feeding more than a thousand people.

"We do 1,500 pounds of turkey, 1,200 pounds of mashed potatoes, 50 gallons of gravy. There are 400 pies," Mel Trotter CEO Dennis VanKampen listed.

The food is donated, much of it by Meijer, and about 800 volunteers helped serve up food and do other tasks. Mitch Dysktra has been giving his time at the community meal every Thanksgiving since it began.

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