Capital City Rescue Mission feeds more than 2,000 people on Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017 06:22 PM

ALBANY - If it was baked on, caked on, or just plain dirty, Kevin Cobbins was the man cleaning it at the Capital City Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving feast.

"I now have a full time job and I'm just feeling good about it, so I just feel like I need to give back," said Cobbins, as he rinsed off an aluminum pan.

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This is his second year giving back and helping to feed so many of Albany's hungry. Not too long ago, he was among them.

"I got in some trouble, I got out of jail and came back here to the mission, because it was the only place to go. I stayed here about three weeks," said Cobbins.

The 23-year Army vet got back on his feet with the help of the mission. So did Al Burch, who was volunteering out in the dining area.

"I was an alcoholic for 15 years. I hit rock bottom. I couldn't go no further," said Burch.

The more than 2,000 people who came there on Thursday, had a chance to pray, to get a flu shot or a checkup, and of course the meal.

It's triple the number of meals the mission serves on an average day. However, there are more volunteers than usual.

"It's actually hard to get in sometimes, because a lot of people do it. So we put in for a position. In the last couple years, we've done pies," said Jeremy Garneau, who was helping cut apple and pumpkin pies with his wife.

Beyond dessert, it's 738 pounds of turkey, 600 pounds of vegetables, and 60 gallons of gravy.

It should be chaos in the kitchen. They are making well over 1,000 pounds of food. However, Chef Maxwell Ansong is cool under pressure. He has been doing this for 20 years.

"It is all planning," said Ansong.

And maybe for Kevin and Al. Their first time there was part of a bigger plan.

"I say this is where I came from, you can do it too," said Burch.

It's just one meal, but who knows how much it can help.


Asa Stackel

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