Bread & Broth volunteers serve up 244 Thanksgiving dinners in South Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Bread & Broth volunteers serve up 244 Thanksgiving dinners in South Lake Tahoe

Perhaps the only thing more plentiful than turkey at St. Theresa's on Monday was the smiles flashed by the volunteers.

The dedicated team of volunteers with the Bread & Broth program served up 244 meals at St. Theresa Catholic Church.

While the Monday Meal program runs throughout the year, Bread & Broth always serves a Thanksgiving meal the Monday before the holiday. And the dinner always brings in a bigger crowd.

"We average about 90," Carol Gerard with Bread & Broth said of the Monday Meals.

While 90 meals is nothing to sneeze at, the Thanksgiving meal is a heavy lift. More than 100 volunteers spring into action starting the Friday before the meal. They chip in through the weekend and on Monday to prepare a dinner that this year consisted of: 250 pounds of turkey; 60 pounds of dressing; 35 pounds of cranberry sauce; 90 pounds of green bean casserole; 50 pounds of sweet potato casserole; and around 50 pies.

"This is such a great community," Evye Szanto, co-director, said as she and lead cook Kathi Olsen listed all the donors that make the meals possible.

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Equally important, the two added, are the dedicated volunteers.

"I have to give something back," Julia Martinez, one of the volunteers, said Monday during the hustle and bustle of the dinner.

Martinez was far from alone, and while the volunteers sacrifice their time, it is worth the reward.

"I get more out of it than I put in," said volunteer John Mauriello.