Close to 600 people will have turkeys at the center of their Thanksgiving dinner tables, thanks to The Ampersand Pantry Project.
The all volunteer nonprofit handed out 127 turkeys to feed 596 community members in need for three hours Wednesday afternoon. The turkeys were cooked and refrigerated at Merone’s Catering in Dulles and brought to Leesburg in a refrigerated truck. Volunteers also cooked side dishes at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center beginning at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, and the Purcellville Giant Food donated 200 pies to include in the distribution.
Most people picked up their meals by visiting the former Tastee Freeze building on East Market Street, where the nonprofit has been handing out free lunches every day since the outbreak of the pandemic. Others had their meals delivered straight to them.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ampersand Pantry Project has served more than 50,000 meals to community members in need.
Project Creator Peter Burnett said the nonprofit’s operations would shift after Thanksgiving toward providing unwrapped toys for children of families in need this Christmas.