Kalispell diner continues tradition of hosting free Thanksgiving - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Kalispell diner continues tradition of hosting free Thanksgiving meal

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KALISPELL - A favorite local diner has a four-decade tradition of serving a free community Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings and that tradition is still going strong.

"Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing as some may same, gravy of course on that, a green bean casserole thing, roll and a piece of pumpkin pie," said Mike Thompson meal coordinator and whose father owns Sykes Diner.

The restaurant served more than 1,200 Thanksgiving meals, "it's been going for 40 years give or take a few.  A lot of people make donations.  It's a great effort," said Thompson.

"It's their way of giving back, their gift back to the community," said volunteer Neoma Anderson. "Back to those who can't afford."

A lot of work goes into preparing for the feast with the preparations beginning last week. It also takes more than 100 volunteers to put it all together.

"I've been helping since the 90's. Peeling potatoes for three days, it's been great fun," said volunteer Betty Silvert. "Now I come in on Wednesday to help prepare for the 250 meals that are delivered."

The meals are delivered to those who can't make it out of their homes like the elderly and handicapped who otherwise may not have gotten a warm Thanksgiving meal.

It took more than a dozen turkeys and hams, hundreds of pounds each of all of the fixings, and of course, plenty of pumpkin and apple pies to be able to serve up 1,200 meals.

The Thanksgiving meal was served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

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